The Pittsburgh Steelers are doing things that they have never done on offense before in franchise history, and in the process, they are making opposing defense do things that they have never done—at least not this season.
In scoring 34 points on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, the 2015 Steelers extended its own franchise-best series of games having scored at least 30 points to six. There has never been a streak longer than three games in a single season before this year.
A few weeks back, Ben Roethlisberger put up more yards in Seattle than any opposing quarterback has in the history of the franchise. I’m sure no doubt some other similar obscure records have fallen along the way, such as his record for the most passing yards off the bench two weeks prior.
But on Sunday, the Steelers hosted the league’s best defense, and by far the best passing defense, and for the most part, had their way, in a way that had not been the case all season. Roethlisberger completed 40 of 55 passes for 380 yards and three touchdowns, completing 72.7 percent of his passes, although to their credit, the Broncos defense also picked him off twice and sacked him three times.
Minus the sack yardage, the Steelers posted 354 total yards of offense through the air. That was by far the most the Broncos have allowed this season, with the previous high coming in Week Three against the Lions, who managed 262 yards, and then in Week 12 against the Patriots. They have only allowed 200 or more passing yards in seven games.
In fact, they have only allowed at least 300 total yards in seven games as well, and the Steelers did that through the air alone, though they managed little on the ground. still, their 377 total net yards of offense is the most that the Broncos had allowed all season.
The 28 first downs that the offense produced is also the most that Denver has allowed this season. They have only allowed at least 20 first downs in six games. The Steelers in the second half in particular moved the ball against the Broncos in a way no team had before this year.
Oh, and they are also the first and only team that has put up at least 30 points on the Broncos defense. In fact, they have only allowed 20 or more points seven times, allowing 10 points or fewer three times, and 15 points or fewer seven times. The previous best was the Chiefs, who scored 29 points.
The only other quarterback aside from Roethlisberger to throw three touchdown passes against the Broncos this season had been Tom Brady, and Roethlisberger did so twice beating cornerback Chris Harris, who had not given up a touchdown this season. The Steelers are the only team to score four touchdowns in total against the defense. The only other teams to score at least three offensive touchdowns were the Patriots and the Colts.