Analyzing the Steelers Week 7 win over the Rams, by the numbers
The Pittsburgh Steelers were back in action after their bye week, this time traveling to Los Angeles to face the Rams in Week 7 of the 2023 NFL season. The Steelers once again started slow, but the defense and Rams’ missed opportunities kept the game close where a dominant fourth quarter could secure the win.
So without further ado, here are some of the numbers involved in the Steelers Week 7 win over the Rams.
The Steelers once again hold form to where if they win the turnover battle they win the game. The Steelers played a clean game in the turnover department for the second time in 2023 while T.J. Watt’s interception gave the Steelers the turnover advantage as well as set up the offense at the 6-yard line early in the second half.
Coming into the game, a Pittsburgh Steelers only had five offensive touchdowns in five games and all of them were passing touchdowns. This week, the Steelers scored three offensive touchdowns, all of which were rushing touchdowns. The first touchdown was a Kenny Pickett quarterback sneak with the second touchdown being the Steelers longest running play of the day with the Jaylen Warren 13-yard scamper. Najee Harris got the game-winning touchdown midway through the fourth quarter from 3 yards out.
This number showed up on several occasions in this game but not in a good way. The Steelers only had 5 first downs in the first half against the Rams on Sunday and were also 0 for 5 on third down conversions. On the other side, the Rams converted 5 of their 9 third-down conversions in the first half.
After neither team reached the red zone during the first half, the Steelers made it inside their opponents 20 on three occasions in the second half. Not only did the Steelers make it to the red zone, they converted touchdowns on all three trips, giving them more red zone touchdowns than they had in their previous five games combined.
The Steelers won this game because of how much they won in the fourth quarter. The Rams only had two positions in the quarter and did not complete a single pass. The Rams were 0 for 4 for 0 yards passing and only had 20 total yards gaining one first down in the quarter.
7/7 for 138
On the other hand, Kenny Pickett was perfect in the fourth quarter with the very first play going for 39 yards to Diontae Johnson. In three possessions, Pickett was 7/7 for 138 yards. During the quarter, the Steelers finished off a touchdown drive, followed it up with another 5:16 touchdown drive, and then held the ball for the final 5:28 of the game.
4-0 vs. 0-2
While the turnover margin has been an indication of whether or not the Steelers have won the game so far in 2023, there is another indication. When the Steelers have surrendered a touchdown on their opponents opening drive to the game, the Steelers have a 0–2 record. When the Steelers hold their opponent to either a punt or have a takeaway on the opening drive, the Steelers are 4–0. So even though the offense gets off to a slow start week after week, it is imperative the defense steps up on the very first drive.
135 & 154
It appeared the Steelers were doing everything they could to minimize wide receiver Cooper Kupp during the game. The Steelers gave up 135 rushing yards in the game with Darrell Henderson Jr. Having 61 yards on 18 carries and Royce Freeman going for 66 yards on 12 carries. The Steelers also surrendered a lot of yards to one specific wide receiver yet again this season, as Puka Nacua went for 154 yards on 8 receptions.
While the Steelers typically did not have success in the Pacific time zone both under Mike Tomlin and with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, the Steelers are 2–0 in 2023 in their trips across the country. Interesting enough, the Steelers were not in familiar situation‘s as it was their first trip ever to Las Vegas in Week 3 and it was the Steelers first time playing the Rams in Los Angeles since 1993.
The numbers really don’t matter. The Steelers might be one of the worst ranked offenses and defenses in the league when it comes to yardage, but the bottom line is they get the job done on the scoreboard. The Steelers managed to go to LA and get the win to push their record to 4–2, win two games in a row surrounding the bye week, and pushing the record to 13–4 coming out of the bye under head coach Mike Tomlin.
So there are some numbers to help put the Steelers Week 7 victory in perspective. Although there are still legitimate concerns with the Steelers offense, they managed to pull off another win while they try to get things figured out.
So what numbers from Sunday’s game stand out to you? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.