The Pittsburgh Steelers very much needed their highest-scoring game since 2018 after giving up the most points that they have on defense since the season opener of the 2019 season, 20 games ago. Their 38 points marked the first time since week 13 that they put up at least 30 points in a single game, snapping a 23-game streak, which was by far the longest in the NFL.
And it’s the most since they put up a 50-burger—52 points to be exact—in a dominating 31-point victory over the Carolina Panthers in week 10 of the 2018 season. The Steelers scored at least 30 points six times that year when they finished sixth in scoring, averaging 26.8 points per game.
Although this is their first game topping the 30-point mark, they are now averaging 29.5 points per game through the first four weeks of the season—which is unsurprisingly all in victories, the first time that they have started a season 4-0 since the 1970s.
And we all know what the story is, of course. The story is Chase Claypool. The rookie second-round pick caught seven passes on 11 targets today for 110 yards. Those are impressive numbers in and of themselves, but three of those receptions went for touchdowns, including two explosive plays. He also scored on a two-yard run, with four touchdowns on the day.
James Conner added a one-yard touchdown run as well to give the Steelers five offensive touchdowns on the day. Add in a Chris Boswell field goal and you have the Steelers’ 38 points, their best day on offense in well over a year.
As mentioned, it was needed, because the defense could hardly get a third-down stop to save their lives. The Philadelphia Eagles converted on third down 10 consecutive times since going three and out on their first two drives, and are not stopped until the final four minutes, which led to a missed 57-yard field goal that would have given them a one-point lead.
The miss gave the Steelers both momentum and good field positioning, and an early roughing penalty gave them a free 15 yards. But it looked like they would stall once again on third and eight when Ben Roethlisberger and Claypool closed out the game with the rookie’s fourth score.
By the end, the Eagles managed 29 points, which was the most by eight that the Steelers had given up this season. In fact, it was the most points that they had surrendered since allowing the New England Patriots 33 in the 2019 regular season opener.
This is an offense with a lot of warts, but also a lot of talent, with a very capable quarterback and skill position players who are capable of making plays. If they can continue to build consistency as the season progresses, this won’t be the last time by any stretch that we’ll be talking about 30-point performances.