Analyzing the Steelers Week 11 loss to the Browns, by the numbers
The Pittsburgh Steelers were back in AFC North action, this time traveling to the Browns in Week 11 of the 2023 NFL season. The Steelers were shut out in the first half and backed off defensively at the worst possible time as they fell in defeat by surrendering a field goal with seconds left to play.
So without further ado, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers Week 11 loss to the Browns.
The Steelers once again won the turnover battle but it did not equate to a victory on the scoreboard. The Steelers were able to force one takeaway with the Chandon Sullivan interception off a deflected pass. Unfortunately, the main thing the interception did was keep a potential long field goal attempt from happening. On the ensuing drive, the Steelers only gained 2 yards and quickly punted the ball back to the Browns.
The Steelers were shut out in the first half for the second time this season. The Steelers only had 64 net yards of offense in the first half and only for first downs, all of which came on the ground. The Steelers only had 15 net yards passing as they surrendered 19 yards in sacks.
On the second play of the second half, the Steelers more than doubled their offense output up to that time when Jaylen Warren ran off the right side for a 74-yard touchdown. It was the longest Steelers touchdown run in almost 10 years as the Steelers had an 81-yard touchdown run from Le’Veon Bell in Week 3 of the 2014 season.
3 vs. 4
For the entire game, the Pittsburgh Steelers only had 3 third down conversions on 14 attempts. The Steelers were 1 for five on third down in the first half and 2 for 9 in the second half. But the Steelers defense also kept the Browns in check on third down keeping them to only 4 conversions on 17 attempts. All four conversions came in the first half as the Browns were 4 of 8 in the first 30 minutes but 0 for 9 in the second half.
With Jaylen Warren rushing for 129 yards on nine carries and having 16 yards on three receptions, he accounted for 58% of the Steelers offensive yards. But with only 12 touches, Warren was only utilized on 22% of the Steelers offensive plays. Wareen only had one reception and no carries in the last six minutes of the game.
3.8 vs. 6.6
The Pittsburgh Steelers actually had success running the football against the Cleveland Browns. They average 6.6 yards per carry as they had 172 yards on 26 attempts. For the passing game, Kenny Pickett only averaged 3.8 yards per attempt he passed for 106 yards from 15 completions on 28 attempts. It was the first time the Steelers lost a game with 170 or more rushing yards since 2007.
For the first six drives the Browns had of the second half on Sunday, they only gained a total of 58 yards including penalties. But when the Browns got the ball back with 1:18 remaining in the game, they were able to gain 48 yards in 8 plays to set up the game-winning 34-yard field goal.
Another place for the number 48 comes into play was when the Steelers started a drive at their own 48-yard line in a tie game with less than six minutes remaining and yet could not do anything with it to put more points on the board.
There were a lot of questions as to how the Steelers would handle the inside linebacker situation after losing Cole Holcomb and Kwon Alexander in consecutive weeks. The only player remaining who had significant snaps prior to any of the injuries, Elandon Roberts stepped up and was all over the field on Sunday as he had 15 total tackles with two coming for loss.
Defense was the driving force in this game for both sides. Of the 24 drives that did not include a kneel down, nine of them were a three and out. The Steelers defense held the Browns to five drives that were three and out while the Browns defense force four three and outs by the Steelers with the most important one coming inside of two minutes.
As I always say, this is the only number that counts. This week, the Steelers did not get to put another tally in the win column. Despite having opportunities to take the lead on two different occasions late in the game, the Steelers gained a total of 9 yards in those two possessions and ended up giving the ball back to the Browns to win the game.
So there are some numbers to help put the Steelers Week 11 loss in perspective. With the Steelers following the “loss, win, win” pattern this season, maybe there are better things in store next week.
So what numbers from Sunday’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.