Heading into their bye week, we have seen the Steelers work their way to a 6-2 record (arguably the most important stat of all), which puts them in first place not only in the AFC North, but also in the AFC playoff standings (they own the head-to-head against the Chiefs and have a better conference record than the Patriots). While the Steelers have had their ups and downs through the first 8 games, we have seen plenty of great performances from many of the Steelers' stars. But what stats really stand out halfway through the season?
- A 6-2 start hasn't been all that unfamiliar to the Steelers during the Mike Tomlin era. We have seen this record through the first 8 games 6 times under Tomlin (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2017).
- JuJu Smith-Schuster has been a breath of fresh air on and off of the field for the Steelers. But just how impressive has he been? Through the first half of the season, Smith-Schuster leads all rookie receivers in receptions (24), receiving yards (424), yards/game (53.0), touchdowns (4), and first down receptions (19).
- It took JuJu Smith-Schuster only 8 games to record his 4th NFL touchdown. In comparison, it took Antonio Brown 34 games to reach that mark.
- JuJu Smith-Schuster is currently on pace for 848 receiving yards this season, which would be the 3rd-most by a rookie receiver in franchise history (Louis Lipps had 860 yards as a rookie and Jimmy Orr holds the record with 910 yards).
- The Steelers are currently on pace for allowing only 20 sacks this season. That would be the least amount of sacks allowed during the Ben Roethlisberger era and the least amount since 1997 when they also gave up 20 total sacks during the season. The team record for the least sacks allowed came in 1974 when they allowed just 18 all season.
- Speaking of sacks, the Steelers defense is on pace to have 52 total sacks this season. That would be the most sacks the Steelers defense has totaled since collecting 55 sacks in 2001. 1994 55
- With 26 sacks through the first 8 games, the Steelers defense is currently on the same pace as their 2008 Super Bowl season.
- Le'Veon Bell is currently on pace for 1,520 rushing years, which would be his career high.
- Le'Veon Bell has 7,029 total scrimmage yards through his first 55 career games. That is the 2nd most to only Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson (7,095).
- With 5 touchdowns so far this season, Le'Veon Bell has at least 5 rushing touchdowns in all but one season of his NFL career (2015).
- While fans have wanted to spread the ball out to receivers other than Antonio Brown, he is on pace for only 114 receptions. The reason I say "only" is because this would only be his 3rd-highest reception total in his career (he had 136 receptions in 2015 and 129 in 2014). So his reception total isn't has extreme as it would seem.
- Antonio Brown is currently leading the NFL in receptions (57) and receiving yards (835).
- Ryan Shazier has only missed 2 snaps this season (meaning he has played 99.6% of the teams defensive snaps) and currently leads the Steelers defense with the most snaps played. Shazier has spent a lot of time injured during his career, which his highest percentage of snaps coming in 2016 when he played only 60.14% of the teams defensive snaps.
- Ryan Shazier is also on pace for 128 tackles, 16 passes defended, and 4 interceptions, all of which would be career highs.
- Ryan Shazier is currently the only player in the NFL that has 50+ tackles, 5+ passes defended, AND 2+ interceptions.
- Ben Roethlisberger has a current passer rating of 82.7. If he were to finish with that, it would be the 3rd-worst passer rating of his career (he finished with a passer rating of 80.1 in 2008 and 75.4 in 2006).
- Ben Roethlisberger is also on pace to finish with his 3rd-worst completion percentage of his career (61.1%). His worst two seasons, unsurprisingly, also came in 2008 (59.9%) and 2006 (59.7%).
- Ben Roethlisberger became just the 4th quarterback in NFL history to throw 3 touchdown passes of 90+ yards (Joe Montana, Billy Wade, & Len Dawson) and is the ONLY quarterback to have 3 touchdown passes of 94+ yards in his career.
- The Steelers defense is currently ranked 4th in total defense (286.6 YPG), 2nd in pass yards (180.0 YPG), tied for 2nd in points allowed (16.4 PPG), and 6th in yards per play (4.81).
- The Steelers haven't allowed an opening-drive touchdown for 25 consecutive games, which is the longest active streak in the NFL.