Steelers vs Bengals: Numbers Crunch

Statistical breakdown of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 27-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday night.

– We’ll look at the three skill positions. Ben Roethlisberger tied Drew Brees for most passing yards in 2014 with 4952. He’s the first quarterback in team history to tie or own the league lead.

– With his first touchdown pass, he reached 250 in his career and finished with 251. Roethlisberger is the 18th QB in league history to reach that mark.

– In 2014, he attempted 608 passes, the most in his career and the first time he’s eclipsed the 600 pass plateau.

To put the eras into perspective, Terry Bradshaw never even had 500 attempts in a single season.

– With a minimum of 300 attempts, Big Ben is just the second QB in team history to play at least 14 games while throwing single digit interceptions. Neil O’Donnell is the other, doing so in 1993 and 1994. Roethlisberger is the first to do it over 16 games, however. He finishes with nine.

– Roethlisberger was not sacked yet again against the Bengals. He’s only been taken down three times over the last five games, or his last 198 attempts. This is the first such span in his career. Credit to him, the wide receivers, and especially the offensive line.

Le’Veon Bell finished with the 5th most single-season rushing yards in franchise history, finishing with 1361. His 100 yards from scrimmage fall 47 short from being the league leader in that category (2215).

He had 80 yards receiving to just 20 yards on the ground. The fifth time this year where he’s had more yards through the air than on the ground.

– His 83 receptions are eighth in single-season history for the franchise. Only Antonio Brown (twice), Hines Ward (four times) and Yancey Thigpen have caught more in a year.

– And he officially becomes the first back since Merril Hoge to be second on the team in receptions and receiving yards.

– Over 296 touches, he did not fumble once. Incredibly impressive.

Antonio Brown with another historical season. His 129 receptions were second all-time in league history, only trailing Marvin Harrison. His 1698 receiving yards are sixth most in league history. And his 13 touchdowns set a franchise record.

– As we’ve tracked off and on, here’s how he matched up with the Kansas City Chiefs’ wide receivers for the entire 2014 season.

Kansas City: 129 catches 1588 yards 0 TD, 19 20+ yard receptions 86 first downs

Brown: 129 catches 1698 yards 13 TD, 19 20+ yard receptions 84 first downs

Meaning, AB nearly out produced or out produced the Chiefs in every meaningful category. One guy against an entire team. Unbelievable.

– Add that all up and you get an offense that scored 436 points, by far the most in team history. The previous was the 416 put up in 1979.

Heath Miller passed Louis Lipps for third all-time in career receiving yards. 6034 in Millers’ illustrious career with the Black and Gold.

–  From the game itself, the Steelers pulled off the victory despite one rushing first down.

Martavis Bryant caught his eighth TD of the season Sunday. He finishes his rookie campaign with a TD every 3.25 catches. He never went more than six catches without finding the end zone.

– We’ll switch over to the defense now. Brice McCain picked off two passes Sunday night. First time he’s done that in his pro or college career.

Sean Spence recorded his first sack since October 15th, 2011. A span of 38 months. Congrats to him.

Antwon Blake had his first forced fumble since 2010…his junior year at UTEP.

Cameron Heyward tied Jason Worilds for the team sack lead with 7.5 QB crunches. Heyward is the first Steelers’ DL to own or tie the lead in that category since Aaron Smith in 2004. Also the last time a DL had more sacks than Heyward. Smith had eight.

– Three non-QBs fired at least one pass this season. Brown, Robert Golden, and Brad Wing. It’s the first instance of a trio doing that since 1966. Running backs Willie Asbury, Amos Bulloks, and long time running backs coach Dick Hoak each threw passes. Hoak threw six that year, including one touchdown.

Brad Wing infamously becomes the Steelers first “true” punter to throw an interception.

– There have been six pass attempts by Steelers’ punters since 1992. They have combined to go 5/6 for 220 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs. Chris Gardocki was the only one to throw an incompletion.

– I won’t dampen the mood by tossing out many more negative stats. The Steelers rushed for just 29 yards in last night’s victory, their fewest since gaining 21 in 2006 against next week’s opponent, the Baltimore Ravens.

– I wanted to finish with my favorite stat of the night. Maurkice Pouncey is the first Steelers offensive lineman to catch a pass since tackle Jim Boyle, who in 1987 hauled in a reception from quarterback Steve Bono.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • steeltown

    This is the BEST ‘Numbers Crunch’ to date

  • Alex Kozora

    I thought so too!

  • GoSteelerz

    We had Steve Bono???? Wow, learn something new every day!!!! LOL

  • Rick M

    LOL, burning the midnight oil Alex. Great research. And yes the K.C.-Antonio comparison is amazing. If K.C. doesn’t go wide receiver in the first round of the draft, it will be a stunner.

  • Don

    Regarding Bell, I believe he had even more carries than you indicated here (296). If my information is correct, he had 290 carries plus the 83 receptions. A total of 373 touches without a fumble. And only one fumble in 662 touches for his career.

  • Alex Kozora

    You’re right – my apologies. I think I was just trying to say carries though that number i obviously slightly off too. Chalk it up to 4 AM writing.

    But yeah, no fumbles all year.

  • cp72

    LeVeon does some pretty amazing things. I think it’s the subtle things that make him truly great. He doesn’t fumble, he’s a great receiver, and an outstanding pass blocker.

    I won’t front. I wanted Eddy Lacy on draft day. Glad we went this direction.

  • John W.

    If only Pouncey could have found a way to grind out one more yard on his reception, then Ben would not have ended up tied with Drew Brees for the most passing yards.

  • Steve

    Harris run was last night was nice, but was called back for holding by Foster. One of the few penalties in the game. Good article Alex.

  • Steve

    That’s funny – Good one!

  • Lambert58

    Great job, Kozora! Seriously, Steve Bono? (must have blinked and missed it)

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    So, I have been on a roll lately predicting the last 4 Steelers outcomes (all Ws obviously!)……
    Here’s another prediction, then, but not just W/L by itself.
    I think Josh Harris starts as RB, due to Bell’s injury. AND has a solid, if not spectacular day (think 12 carries for 48 yards) in a close Steelers win. Ben over 350 yards passing, 2 TDs, one pick. Steelers D has 2.5 sacks and 2 turnovers forced.
    Steelers 20, Ravens 13.