Couldn’t have asked for a better start to the week: Steelers win and the Patriots and Ravens lose. Let’s take a look at the stats that stood out from this hard fought AFC North road win.
A win is a win no matter how you slice it up, but to not be concerned with Ben Roethlisberger‘s performance throughout the 2017 season would be naive. Big Ben missed a wide open Martavis Bryant down the right sideline for an easy touchdown and failed to look at an even wider open Antonio Brown on a pick play. His 216 passing yards vs. the Ravens marks the tenth straight regular season game Ben has not thrown for 300 or more yards. Now I’ll take the win regardless, but moving forward, these are throws that Ben will have to make to compete with the better teams.
Le’Veon Bell had the kind of game we as Steelers have grown accustomed to: 186 total yards and two touchdowns. It was the first time this season Bell has rushed for over 100 yards and only the second time getting more than 20 carries. Leaning on Bell was the recipe for success in 2016, and there’s no reason for it to change this year.
The Steelers game plan was to control the clock with a heavy dosage of Bell and control the clock they did. Of the 60 minutes, the Steelers offense possessed the ball for 35 minutes and 29 seconds on 12 possessions leaving Joe Flacco and the rest of the Ravens offense on the sidelines for a majority of the game. Not only did the running game play a factor in the huge differential in time of possession, but also Big Ben’s decision making. Instead of chucking the ball deep as he frequently did during the first three games of the season, Ben chose to take a more controlled short yardage passing approach.
Bell’s two touchdown performance vs. the Ravens ties him with Rashard Mendenhall for fifth-most in franchise history with 29 career touchdowns.
Sunday’s 144-yard performance from Le’Veon marks his 15th career 100-yard rushing game which ties him with John Henry Johnson for fifth-most in team history.
The Steelers defense had seven tackles for loss today making it three games this season in which the defense has made seven stops behind the line of scrimmage. The Ravens came in with the 4th best rushing attack (142.3 rushing yards per game) and left with only 82 yards on the ground with 50 of it coming on a long Alex Collins run. A solid bounce back performance for the defense after getting gashed last week.
The defense sacked Joe Flacco four times bringing their total to 15 for the year. Cameron Heyward led the way with 2, cornerback Mike Hilton got the first one of his career, and Bud Dupree and Stephon Tuitt, in his first game back since week one, split a sack.
Were there any stats that stood out to you? Please let us know!