Seriously guys, this is my favorite post to write each week. And this week was extra weird.
– Eli Rogers is only the second Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver in team history to post a 5/50/1 line in his first career game. Louis Lipps is the other, catching 6 passes for 183 yards and two scores against the Kansas City Chiefs in 1984. Rogers finished a bit more modestly with 6 catches for 59 yards and a score.
– Here’s a crazy one: Using Pro Football Reference’s Game Play finder, which dates back to 1994, the Steelers appear to be the only team to complete two passes on 4th and 1 in a half. For Pittsburgh, one was a touchdown, Ben Roethlisberger finding Antonio Brown.
– DeAngelo Williams’ 143 yards rushing is the second most ever by a Steelers’ running back 33 or older. The record is still held by John Henry Johnson, who ran for 200 at age 34 in 1964.
Previously in second place was Franco Harris, who rumbled for 132 in 1983.
Johnson, Harris, Jerome Bettis, and now Williams are the only backs to ever eclipse 100 yards at that age.
– Roethlisberger’s first game combined stats the last three openers: 76/109 (69.7%) 1006 yards 5 TDs 3 INTs. He’s 2-1 in those games.
– Washington ran for just 55 yards, the fewest allowed by the Steelers in an opener since 2007, when they held the Cleveland Browns to just 46.
– In all games since 2005, the Steelers are 36-5 when they hold the opposing team to under 60 yards rushing.
– Since 2014, Brown is tied with Odell Beckham for the most 8 catches, 120 yards, 2 TD performances. They each have four.
– Jesse James is the first TE not named Heath Miller to have 5 receptions in a game since Matt Spaeth on November 16th, 2008. A child born that day would now be in the third grade.
– James Harrison recorded his first interception since November of 2013 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
– The Steelers had two interceptions from their linebackers tonight – Harrison and Ryan Shazier. First time that’s happened in a game for Pittsburgh since 2006 when Larry Foote and Clint Kriewaldt (!!!) had picks in a 20-3 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
– Pittsburgh went 9/14 on third down tonight, or 64.3%. It’s their highest percentage on 14+ third down attempts since September 16th, 2007, when they converted 11 of 16 in a win over the Buffalo Bills.
Washington, meanwhile, was a paltry 30%, (3/10). It’s the first time the Steelers have been at 64%+ on third down (min 14 attempts) while holding the opponent to 30% since 1999. That day, they went 15/21 and held the Browns to 0/7 on third down in a 43-0 victory. That also came in a season opener.
– Pittsburgh was penalized just four times last night, their fewest in an opener since 2013.
– Their 33:18 time of possession was the most in any regular season game since Week 8 of 2014, a 51-34 thrashing of the Indianapolis Colts.
For an opener, it’s their best mark since 2012, when they controlled the ball for over 35 minutes in a loss to the Denver Broncos.