Welcome to the BTSC statistical breakdown of the most recent Steelers game. After demolishing the Chiefs in just about every category, the Steelers blew out the Jets for an encore performance. Below is a breakdown to see what we can learn from what the team did well and what areas they need to work on.
All stats are from the NFL, except for DYAR and DVOA rankings, which are from Football Outsiders.
Running Games: Isn’t it grand having Le’Veon Bell back in the mix? Bell led the way for the Steelers ground game where he gained 66-yards on 20 carries. He also added 88-yards through the air for 154-yards of total offense. DeAngelo Williams only had one rushing attempt for no gain. How the Steelers split the carries between these two going forward remains something to watch.
Bell has only been active for two games but he currently ranks third in DVOA. Obviously that is going to fluctuate as he sees more of the field, but it’s a good sign that he’s picking up right where he left off.
Passing: Your NFL touchdown leader in 2016 is Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with 15 on the year. Roethlisberger had another efficient game Sunday when he threw for 380-yards and four touchdowns while completing 72% of his passes. Roethlisberger currently ranks 7th in DYAR, 8th in DVOA, and third in QBR. No matter which metric you use, it’s clear Roethlisberger is on a hot streak right now, and is playing some of the best ball of his career.
The leading receiver from last Sunday was Martavis Brya…hang on I’m being told that was Sammie Coates out there. All jokes aside, Sammie Coates continues to get better each game and it’s hard not to see a lot of similarities between him and Martavis Bryant both the good (speed and big plays) and the bad (drops). Coates had 139-yards and two touchdowns on six receptions. Coates was actually targeted 11 times and dropped two clear touchdowns, so as impressive as his numbers were he actually left a lot of plays on the field.
Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown each had nine receptions for 88 and 78-yards respectively. Brown and tight end Jesse James each scored touchdowns of their own.
Defense: Ryan Fitzpatrick was ineffective against the Steelers, throwing for 255-yards and one touchdown. The Steelers were able to hold Fitzpatrick to only 92-yards passing and no touchdowns in the second half when the Steelers put the game out of reach. The leading receiver for the Jets was Brandon Marshall who had eight receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. The Jets totaled 72 yards on the ground, led by Matt Forte and his 53 yards. The Steelers have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher through five games. The Steelers had six passes defended, including three from Ross Cockrell alone. The Steelers continued to run their bend but don’t break defense by holing New York to only one successful red zone trip out of two opportunities. To the delight of many in Steeler Nation, the defense brought significant pressure for the second week in a row by totaling three sacks and 12 quarterback hits.
For the second consecutive week Vince Williams led the team with 9 combined tackles. Williams now leads the team in solo tackles with 26.
Efficiency: The Steelers were 5/10 on third down and held the Jets to only 2/11 on third down. Both teams were 0 for one on fourth down. The Jets averaged 5.4 yards per play compared to 6.1 for the Steelers.
The Red Zone: The Steelers converted three of their four Red Zone trips into touchdowns while holding the Jets to 1/2. The Steelers are currently third in the NFL in offensive red zone efficiency with 79%. They are fourth in defensive red zone efficiency, allowing opponents to score only 41%of the time.
Turnovers: The Steelers lost one fumble Sunday when Leonard Williams sacked Roethlisberger and Sheldon Williams recovered the ball for the Jets. The Steelers were not able to come away with any takeaways of their own, but Anthony Chickillo was credited with a forced fumble of Ryan Fitzpatrick that the Jets quarterback was able to recover.
Penalties: The Jets committed four penalties for 18 yards, while the Steelers only committed one for ten yards.
Under Pressure: The Steelers registered three sacks on Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday. Vince Williams and Anthony Chickillo each had one sack while Lawrence Timmons and Arthur Moats each had a half sack. Williams (3), Timmons (2), Mike Mitchell, Jarvis Jones (2), Chickillo, Moats (2), and Cam Heyward all registered quarterback hits.
The Steelers offensive line did a spectacular job keeping Roethlisberger on his feet, giving up only one sack and quarterback hit to Leonard Williams. Chris Hubbard deserves a special mention for his play filling in at right tackle. The Steelers offensive line is now ranked as the third best pass protection unit according to football outsiders.
Punting: Jordan Berry continues to be an asset to the Steelers defense as he consistently forces other offenses to travel the length of the field to score points. Berry punted three times with an average of 46 yards and had all three downed inside the 20 with no touchbacks.
The Steelers continue to put up pretty numbers on offense while getting the job done on defense. As Vince Williams eloquently put it on Twitter after the game:
Statistics are for losers! There is only one stat I'm interested in and that's WINS.— Vincenzo Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) October 9, 2016
I endorse that second sentence very much. The Steelers will take their talents to South Beach on Sunday to take on the struggling Dolphins.