Steel Curtain Network: A Pittsburgh Steelers podcast

10 numbers I hope to see in the Steelers first preseason game

On the most recent episode of the Steelers Stat Geek podcast, I outlined 10 numbers I want to see from the Steelers in their preseason game on Friday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While some of the numbers could be a little ambitious, most of them fall into the very realistic category.

Rather than take time to give a large explanation here, I’ll give a brief explanation for each number as they come.

Penalties: 5 or less

While it would be great if the Steelers could play a flawless game of the penalty department, it’s unrealistic this early in the season. But if they could keep the penalties down it would be a great starting point.

Points scored: 24 or more

Although it was great to see the Steelers go over 30 points in their first preseason game last year, it would be a bit ambitious to go that high. I’m merely looking for what I would like the Steelers to average in the points department this season.

Points surrendered: 10 or less in the first half

I kept my expectations to the first half in this category because I’m more interested in the top-of-the-depth-chart players keeping points off the board more than how things play out at the end of the game.

Third down conversion rate: 40% or better

Although the 50% threshold is great. I’d be satisfied with a good performance of 40% or more on third down.

Red zone efficiency: 67% or better

While I almost went with 75%, I’d like to see the Steelers get touchdowns on two out of every three trips to the red zone. But first, the Steelers have to get there.

Turnovers: No more than 1

I’m not expecting the Steelers to play a perfectly clean game in the turnover department their very first time taking the field, but if they have more than one turnover it’s not a good start with so much emphasis on taking care of the ball.

Yards per carry: 4.0 or more

The Steelers blew this number out of the water the first preseason game last year as they had 6.9 yards per carry (YPC). But they didn’t average 4.0 YPC for the preseason because the next two games they saw only 1.7 and 2.9 YPC. I would like to see them start over 4.0 and maintain that each game.

Completion rate: 67% or better

While this number will be dependent on how far down the field the Steelers are pushing the ball in the passing game, completing 2/3 of their passes will be key regardless.

Sacks: At least 3

I really wanted to be ambitious and say five or more, but I just want to see the Steelers defense getting to the quarterback like they have been doing in training camp against the Steelers offensive line.

Takeaways: At least 1

Not only is it important to see the Steelers taking the ball away from the opponent, I really want to see it be a true takeaway and the Steelers being the driving force behind the turnover and not simply because their opponent botched the play.

So there are 10 numbers I would like to see from the Steelers in their upcoming preseason matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Are there any of these numbers you would like to tweak? Are there additional numbers from a different category you would like to see? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

To hear the rundown of these 10 numbers as well as some other preseason statistics, check out the latest episode of the Steelers Stat Geek podcast below:

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