Numbers Crunch: Browns vs Steelers Hidden Statistics

By Alex Kozora

Some of the ugly statistics born out of the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-10 defeat to the Cleveland Browns. I’ll try and fight through the tears as I type them. If you don’t want to feel worse about this loss, stop here. This one isn’t going to be pretty.

– Cleveland’s 31 points are the most they’ve scored since their infamous 51-0 drubbing of the Steelers in Week One of the 1989 season.

– The Steelers ten points, aided by a touchdown to Lance Moore in the twilight of the game, tied for the second fewest since 1992. Only one other time this century – a 10-6 loss in 2008 – were the Steelers held to ten points or less.

– Only twice since Chuck Noll arrived have the Steelers lost by more points to the Browns than they did Sunday. The aforementioned 51 point loss and a 24 point loss in 1987.

– The most eye-catching stat of the day. The Browns scored 31 points. They completed just eight passes.

Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time the Browns have won while competing less than ten passes. In 1970, the Browns completed just 4/17 passes, threw two picks, and won 15-7. Three years later, the Browns went 5/17, threw three interceptions, and won 21-16. And they somehow scored 42 points in a 1965 matchup despite just six completions.

– Dating back to the merger, there have been 57 instances of a Steelers’ opponent completing less than 10 passes. Surprisingly, the Steelers are only 33-24 in those contests.

– I jumped the gun on a tweet I sent out yesterday. 2002 wasn’t the last time the Steelers allowed eight or fewer completions and lost. The last time came in 2009, when they gave up just six completions in a 13-6 loss to the…Cleveland Browns.

– Only once have the Steelers allowed eight or fewer completions and gave up more than the 217 yards allowed Sunday. The record 243 back in 1999 versus the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers fell that day 31-24. Completion eight of 26 passes, Tony Banks threw three touchdown passes. All to Qadry Ismail. All 50+ yards.

– The Browns had more yards of offense (376) in the final three quarters than the Steelers had the entire game (359).

– The Steelers have scored just 27 offensive points in the last ten quarters, dating back to halftime against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Jacksonville Jaguars hadn’t allowed fewer than 33 points. The Steelers scored 17. The Browns were giving up an average of 26 points per game. Pittsburgh recorded ten.

Ben Roethlisberger completed half his passes yesterday (21/42). The last time he had a worse completion percentage was on October 28th, 2008. Went 13/29 in a loss to the New York Giants. That was 2,718 days ago.

– Despite Brian Hoyer completing 13 fewer passes than Roethlisberger, he only threw for 11 less yards than #7.

– Cleveland averaged 6.6 yards per play. That’s their 4th most in team history against the Steelers, a span of 124 meetings.

– The Browns scored 21 points in yesterday’s second quarter. Coming into the game, they had just 16 points in the second quarter all season.

– In the regular season series, the Browns rushed for 349 yards in two games. 191 in Week One, 158 yesterday. That’s the highest allowed in a regular season series since 1967 when the Steelers gave up 359 yards.

In other words, the Steelers’ run defense hasn’t been this bad since the pre-Noll era.

– Conventional football history tells you football began in 1869. That’s not accurate and especially untrue if you believe Walter Camp to also be the father of football. Camp was ten years old in 1869. More thorough research tells us football could be considered “official” once the gridiron was introduced. That rule was passed on October 12th, 1882. 132 years ago from yesterday.

The Steelers sure had a disappointing celebration.

– Two positives to wipe away the tears. Le’Veon Bell is still on pace for over 2100 yards from scrimmage. It’ll surpass Barry Foster’s record of yards from scrimmage of 2034. Bell’s pace for 74 receptions will still smash the record for the position, too.

Antonio Brown is on pace for 13 receiving touchdowns. That’d be a Steelers’ single-season record. Three-way tie for first right now: Hines Ward, Louis Lipps, and Buddy Dial all have 12.

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