More wins, more weird. Let’s dive in.
– Completely random stat. First time the Pittsburgh Steelers have scored exactly 36 points in a win since 1990, beating the Chargers 36-14. They did put up 36 in a 47-36 loss to the Titans in 1999.
– Ben Roethlisberger tying a record pace this year. Most TDs through his first nine games of a season.
2020 – 22
2014 – 22
2007 – 22
– As we wrote about last night, Roethlisberger hasn’t been sacked in his last 104 dropbacks. He’s been taken down just twice in his last four games. He also hasn’t been sacked in three of his last four games. That’s never happened in his career until now.
– Pittsburgh’s run game in the tank. 79 carries for 232 yards over their last four games. Average of just 2.9 YPC. They’ve been held under 50 yards their last three contests (48, 46, and 44) for the first time in franchise history. Over the last four seasons, only the 2019 LA Chargers (who did it four games in a row) have been so inept on the ground. Really woeful numbers.
– Don’t go thinking the run defense has been in a much better place either. They’ve now allowed 125+ yards in three straight games. Hasn’t happened since 1999, when they gave up that much in four straight. But hey, they’ve won all those games. And to be fair, 39 of those yards came on the Bengals’ fake punt which didn’t come against the Steelers’ actual defense.
– Chase Claypool now has nine touchdowns this season. That’s tied with Willie Asbury (1966) for third most by a Steelers’ rookie. He only trails Franco Harris (1972) and Louis Lipps (1984), who each had 11. Good chance he ties or breaks the record.
Claypool is only the fifth wideout in team history – rookie or not – with 9+ touchdowns in the first nine games of the season. The others? Antonio Brown (2018), Louis Lipps (1985), Roy Jefferson (1968), and Buddy Dial (1961).
– Ray-Ray McCloud averaged a very healthy 15 yards on four punt returns. Only the second Steelers’ PR with 15+ yards on at least four attempts since 2012. Him and Eli Rogers, who did so in 2017 against the Texans.
– Cam Sutton had one forced fumble in his first three years in the league. Now he has a forced fumble in three straight games. First Steelers’ DB to do so since – you guessed it – Lee Flowers in 2000. Not even the great Troy Polamalu had such a streak.
Sutton had three forced fumbles his entire college career at Tennessee, too. This is unexpected.
– Long-time coming for LB Avery Williamson. He earned his first win in a game he played in since December 6th, 2018. Span of nearly two years. Williamson lost his final three games with the Jets in 2018, missed all of 2019 with a torn ACL, went 0-8 with the Jets before getting traded, and didn’t log a snap in last Sunday’s win over Dallas. Good for him to get a W in his column.
– Last stat, showing some love to the Steelers’ defense. Bengals went a whopping 0/13 on third down. It’s only the 8th time since 1991 (as far back as the stat is tracked) a defense held an opposing offense without a third down conversion on 13+ tries. First time the Steelers have done it.
Previous team to accomplish this was the New York Jets, who held the Cardinals to an 0/15 output in a 2012 7-6 barnburner. Pittsburgh won a little more comfortably Sunday.