1-2-1, that is likely the only number the Pittsburgh Steelers are focused on as they head into their week five matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. The Steelers are desperately trying to improve on their poor showing through the first quarter of the season. That can start Sunday at Heinz Field with a victory over the Falcons. Here are all the numbers you will need to know ahead of Sunday’s big matchup.
2.80 – The Falcons defense has lost linebacker Deion Jones and safety Keanu Neal for the season and their defense has crumbled as a result. The Falcons are allowing nearly a field goal per drive as their 2.8 points allowed per drive is the worst in the NFL. With Big Ben and the Steelers’ offense struggling over the last six quarters of football, this weekend will be their chance to get things back on track.
11 – When linebacker Vince Williams exited last Sunday night’s game with an injury, it was L.J. Fort who subbed in to replace him. With Williams likely out this Sunday, many are looking forward to seeing if it will be Fort who once again alleviates the veteran linebacker. Fort has played just 11 snaps on defense this season, all coming last Sunday but he made the best out of his brief cameo. If it is not Fort, it will likely be Tyler Matakevich who handles most of the work but he has logged zero snaps on defense thus far this season. With the veteran linebacker out, the Steelers will look to youth and inexperience to patch up Williams’ absence.
36 – Ben Roethlisberger has been a notorious slow starter in his career but that all changes once the calendar switches over to October. During the month of October, Roethlisberger has compiled a record of 36-12 and has statistically dominated the box scores. His 100.2 passer rating and 88 touchdowns during the month of October is more than any other month while his 39 interceptions are the fewest of any other month. As the leaves begin to change colors, so does Big Ben, shedding his rusty September coat for a more successful October coat.
50.9 – The Steelers’ third down offense this season has been dreadful to watch at times, converting just 30.6% of their attempts, good for 28th in the NFL. While the Steelers have been poor at converting third downs, the Falcons have been even worse at defending them, allowing 50.9% of all their opponent third down attempts to be converted. There will be no excuse for another poor showing from the Steelers’ offense on third down again this week, as the Falcons have been handing out third down conversions like the NFL’s version of Oprah.
63 – Last week the Steelers defense had their hands full with the likes of Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead. Neither of these three are names that inflict fear into opposing defenses, which makes this weekend’s matchup much scarier as the Steelers will be tasked with stopping the three headed monster of Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu. Jones leads the NFL in receiving yards with 502 yards, Ridley leads the NFL in receiving touchdowns with six and Sanu has also chipped in almost 200 yards receiving as well. All three of these receivers have catch rates of 63% or higher, and the trio are looking to be a big problem for an already puzzled Steelers secondary.