Impossible to top the “weird” we had leading up to this game – they played on a freakin’ Wednesday – but we’ll do our best.
– The Steelers are the 11th team since the league expanded to a 16 game schedule in 1978 to begin a season 11-0. Four of the previous ten won a Super Bowl, the last being the ’09 Saints.
– Despite Ben Roethlisberger throwing the ball so much, he’s not taken a sack in his last four games (185 attempts). Pittsburgh becomes the first team since the 2018 Colts not to be sacked in four consecutive games. And just the sixth team since 2010. If they can repeat this performance against Washington, they’ll be just the 8th team since the merger to go five straight games without being sacked.
It’s worth noting almost all the other teams with a 4+ streak haven’t thrown the ball nearly as much as Pittsburgh has either.
– Roethlisberger now hasn’t been sacked in his last 199 pass attempts. Unreal streak for a quarterback who was once among the most often sacked QBs. In fact, Roethlisberger sits as the fourth most sacked QB of all-time. Three behind Tom Brady and John Elway. Twelve behind current record holder Brett Favre.
– Roethlisberger has thrown 40+ passes in four straight games for the first time since Weeks 11-14 of the 2017 season. Like then, Roethlisberger has gone 4-0 over that span.
– Pittsburgh held the Ravens to 90 total passing yards. First time they’ve held an opponent under 100 yards in the air since…the Ravens Week 17 game last year.
– Of the eight Steelers who caught passes today, only two averaged more 10+ yards a catch. They were…you guessed it: RBs Benny Snell (3 for 33) and Anthony McFarland (1 for 17). Everyone else in single digits.
– JuJu Smith-Schuster’s stats in particular are weird. Eight catches for 37 yards, an average of 4.6 per grab. He becomes the second player – and first wide receiver – in Steelers’ history to have 8+ receptions for fewer than 40 yards. Le’Veon Bell had an eight catch, 33 yard performance against the Jets in 2014.
In fact, Smith-Schuster becomes the first wide receiver to have at least eight catches for no more than 40 yards and a touchdown in a game since Anquan Boldin in 2007. The last player in the NFL to do it was TE Mychal Rivera for the Raiders in 2014.
– Let’s expand it out a little more. No Steeler WR had 8+ catches for fewer than 50 yards in a game entering Wednesday. Today? They had two. Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson, who caught eight passes for 46 yards.
– Baltimore ran for just 129 yards on the ground today, the “fewest” allowed by this defense against the Ravens since Week 9 in 2018. No team has the Steelers’ number on the ground game like Baltimore does.
– Two more sacks today gives TJ Watt 45.5 in his NFL career. He moves into 10th place in NFL history for sacks in a player’s first four seasons, passing Robert Quinn for that 10th spot. He needs three more to move into 9th place. Just don’t count on him catching the leader. Reggie White holds it with a whopping 70.
Watt also moved into 8th place in Steelers’ history in career sacks, surpassing Aaron Smith.
– Joe Haden had the second pick six of his NFL career. The other came in 2013 with the Browns.
– In both games against the Ravens this year, the opening points of the game for either side came on a pick six. Robert Spillane pick-six’d Lamar Jackson in the first meeting.
Prior to this season, the last time Pittsburgh recorded the first points of a game via pick six was in 2012, when Lawrence Timmons had a 53 yard score against the Cleveland Browns. Now they’ve done it twice this season.
– Pittsburgh came into today with the 7th best red zone offense. They exited the game just 1-4, coming away with only 13 points (a touchdown, two field goals, and fourth and goal INT).