It’s so good to be weird again. Fortunately for us, the Pittsburgh Steelers offered up plenty of it in their wild Week One win against the Buffalo Bills.
– Pittsburgh trailed 10-0 at halftime of today’s game. Entering today, Mike Tomlin’s teams were 0-6 when trailing 10-0 or greater (in that, the Steelers had zero points and the opponent had at least ten) at halftime. Today netted Tomlin his first such win.
Since the 1970 merger, Pittsburgh was 3-42 when trailing 10-0+ at the half. Their only three wins came in 2006 against the Browns (down 10-0, won 24-20), 1997 against the Jaguars (down 10-0, won 23-17 in OT), and 1976 also against the Browns (down 14-0, won 31-14).
– Pittsburgh started five rookies on offense/defense today: OL Dan Moore Jr and Kendrick Green, RB Najee Harris, TE Pat Freiermuth, and DB Tre Norwood (who started in the slot). That’s the most rookies started in Week One for Pittsburgh since the merger, beating the previous record of four set in 1970 (Bradshaw, Shanklin, Hughes, Bryant). Pressley Harvin also served as the team’s starting punter.
– Najee Harris finishes his NFL debut with 16 carries for 45 yards. Dating back to his days at Alabama, it’s by far the fewest yards he’s had in a game with 15+ carries. Previous low was 22 carries for 79 yards which, weirdly enough, came in his last game, Alabama’s 2020-2021 National Title Game win over Ohio State.
– Eight different Steelers caught a pass today.
– Josh Allen was sacked three times today. He was sacked just a total of twice in his previous two meetings against Pittsburgh.
– Most Week One sacks in Steelers’ history (since sacks became official in 1982).
1. TJ Watt – 7
T-2. Clark Haggans – 5.5
T-2. Greg Lloyd – 5.5
4. James Harrison – 4.5
T-5. Joey Porter – 4
T-5. LaMarr Woodley – 4
Today marked the third multi-sack, Week One game of Watt’s career. No other Steeler has more than one.
– Last Watt stat. Today’s performance gives him 51.5 for his career. A list of Steelers with 50+ career sacks: James Harrison, LC Greenwood, Joe Greene, Jason Gildon, Joey Porter, Keith Willis, Cam Heyward, LaMarr Woodley, Dwight White, and now TJ Watt. Hard to be in greater company than that.
– Minkah Fitzpatrick’s ten tackles tie a career high, college or pro.
– James Pierre’s seven tackles are the most he’s had in a game since his college days. at FAU. November 10th, 2018 against Western Kentucky.
– After putting up a 10/130/1 stat line last year, Stefon Diggs was held to just 9/69 today. Long of 13. Big difference from a year ago.
– Last one. Under Mike Tomlin, the Steelers have made the playoffs 87.5% of the time when they win their Week One opener. 7 of 8. The only exception came in 2009, when they finished 9-7 and failed to qualify. Today’s win a good omen for January.