Football’s back. So are stats of the weird. To get you ready for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2022 season, I’m bringing you some seasonal stats of the weird we’ll be tracking throughout the year. Of course, we’ll have a post after each week with some fun stats of the weird for you guys. Here’s what’s on my radar in 2022.
– T.J. Watt has a chance to become the first player to ever lead the league in sacks three years running. He’s currently one of just three players to ever do so in back-to-back years, joining Reggie White and Mark Gastineau. Great company to be in but Watt has a chance to stand alone.
– More on Watt. He needs just nine sacks to become the Steelers’ all-time sack leader, breaking James Harrison’s 80.5 mark. Crazy to think Watt could hold that top spot by Halloween.
– Watt needs 18 sacks to reach 90 for his career. If he can hit that mark, he’ll become just the second player in NFL history with 90+ sacks across his first six seasons in the league. He’ll join Reggie White, who had an amazing 95. Watt would need to finish the year with 23.5 to top White’s mark.
– Cam Heyward is 9.5 sacks away from tying Joe Greene’s career sack mark of 77.5. He needs exactly ten to tie L.C. Greenwood’s 78 career QB takedowns.
– Flipping over to the offensive side of the football, Najee Harris could become the fourth Steelers’ running back with 300+ carries in back-to-back years. Willie Parker, Jerome Bettis, and Franco Harris are the current three. He also could become the fourth RB with 1200+ rushing yards in two straight seasons, joining Parker, Bettis, and Le’Veon Bell.
– Chris Boswell needs to make 23 field goals to capture second place in team history, breaking Jeff Reed’s mark of 204. He’d still be far behind first place’s Gary Anderson, who hit 309 of them during his long Steelers’ career.
– Here’s a fun one. If Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady is sacked 12 times this year, he’ll again become the most-sacked QB in NFL history. Ben Roethlisberger currently holds the record with 554. Brady sits at 543. Which means the leaderboard could change three times in two years. Entering 2021, Brett Favre held the record with 525 before Brady and Roethlisberger passed him last season. So Brady being sacked means a little extra this year.
Pittsburgh hosts the Bucs Week 6 – could Brady break the record then? He was sacked nine times through Tampa’s first six games last year but the Bucs’ offensive line dealt with plenty of injuries this summer. So it’s possible.
– The Pittsburgh Steelers continue their longest playoff victory drought since the late 60s/early 70s. If they can’t win a postseason contest game in 2022, it’ll mark their seventh straight season without one, extending their drought to the longest since the 1965-1971 teams before the franchise turned around in 1972.
– The Steelers have dropped three straight games against the Cincinnati Bengals. If they lose both matchups in 2022, it’ll be the first time the team’s had a 5+ game losing streak to the Bengals since they lost six in a row from 1988-1990. It would also mark the first time Pittsburgh’s been swept by them since the ’89 and ’90 seasons.
– Mike Tomlin’s first victory of the season will put him at 155 career and sole possession of 18th most in NFL history. He’ll break a tie held with Joe Gibbs, who Tomlin said he idolized growing up. Tomlin needs five wins to move into 17th place, breaking Bud Grant’s career mark.
– The Steelers defense has registered 50+ sacks in five straight seasons. If they can make it six, they’ll be the first team in NFL history to accomplish that feat.