The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 season is underway and the Steelers fell short in their home opener. Even though the entire AFC North fell in defeat in Week 2, it is not much of a consolation prize as the Steelers had an opportunity to move to 2-0 come up short.
So without further ado, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers loss to the Patriots.
It will continue to be a huge number for this team as it is one of the biggest factors in most NFL games. The Steelers came out on the wrong end of the turnover margin against the Patriots as they coughed up the ball up twice with a Mitch Trubisky interception and a Gunner Olszewski muffed punt. The Steelers did get one turnover back with Minkah Fitzpatrick pulling in his second interception of the season.
With 0:30 remaining in the first half, the New England Patriots were faced with a third and three at the Steelers 44-yard line. With a chance to force a punt or maybe even get the opportunity for a fourth down stop, the Steelers instead surrendered a 44-yard touchdown to Nelson Agholor. What was even more frustrating was Ahkello Witherspoon was in position for the interception but waited for the ball to come to him and Agholor snatched it out of the air and scampered into the end zone. It turned what would have otherwise been a tie game at the half into a 10–3 Patriots lead.
With just over four minutes left in the third quarter, the Steelers forced a punt by the New England Patriots from their own 43 yard line. Unfortunately, Gunner Olszewski could not come up with the punt even after a fair catch and the Patriots recovered the muff at the 20 yard line. With an unnecessary roughness penalty also called on Connor Heyward, the Patriots took over at the Steelers 10-yard line. On one play in which the Steelers should have regained possession, they ended up surrendering 47 yards of field position.
For the game, both teams finished with a 53% third down efficiency. The Patriots finished 9 of 17 for the game while the Steelers were 8 of 15 on third down. Unfortunately, it was the final two third downs that the Steelers did not convert on their two possessions in the fourth quarter which made a huge difference in the game.
Despite the loss, the Steelers had an increase in production in running the football in Week 2. The Steelers averaged 4.1 yards per carry on the day as they got 91 yards on 22 rushing attempts. When it comes specifically to the running backs, the Steelers rushers averaged 3.4 yards per game which was over a yard more than they did in Week 1.
Despite surrendering 124 rushing yards in the game, the Steelers actually had a better rushing average than the Patriots. New England officially had 31 carries for 124 yards which resulted in a 4.0 yards per carry average. But it should also be noted that the Patriots lost 9 yards on their final three rushing attempts due to quarterback kneel downs. Were it not for those three plays the Patriots would have had an average 4.75 yards per carry.
After scoring a touchdown and subsequent two-point conversion on the first play the fourth quarter, the Steelers did next to nothing on offense for the remainder of the game. Their other two drives were both three and outs and they gained 4 yards and 8 yards respectively. This put the Steelers defense in quite a bad position as the offense only had 2:41 time of possession for the quarter. Up until the fourth quarter, the Steelers were leading the time of possession but ultimately ended up losing by more than seven minutes.
The Steelers had their longest drive of the season from a time stndpoint which began in the first quarter and ended in the second quarter following the Minkah Fitzpatrick interception. Despite only moving the ball 48 yards and settling for Chris Boswell field goal, the Steelers possessed the ball for 7:07 which was their longest possession of the season by more than two minutes.
While there is an awful lot to learn about this game in regards to the Pittsburgh Steelers, they don’t have a lot of time to dive into things. The Pittsburgh Steelers only have four days between games as they must travel to Cleveland to face the Browns on Thursday night.
Although this number could easily be based on the number of sacks the Steelers got in the game, it’s actually about the most important start of the game. The Steelers do not get to add a number into their win column this week, so the increase in their win total is zero.
So there are some numbers to help put the Steelers Week 2 loss in perspective. Even though the defense kept the score under 20, the offense continued to struggle to put points on the board as the Steelers fell to 1-1.
So what numbers from Sunday’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.