By Jeremy Hritz
It’s a great Thursday today, as we are celebrating episode #100 of the Study Session, my daily Steelers podcast that covers all things Pittsburgh Steelers. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please click here! And if you want to help me out, please share the Study Session and the rest of my work on the Study with your family and friends–I’d greatly appreciate it!
In today’s Study Notes, I take a look at the interesting statistics surrounding the Steelers following week 1 and discuss what’s happening with the Steelers this September 16th.
- The Raiders head into Sunday’s game against the Steelers as the league’s leading passing team with 435 yards. In comparison, the Steelers rank 29th with 188. Quite the discrepancy, but still way too early to glean anything significant.
- Defensively, the Raiders currently rank 21st, giving up 406 yards of offense, which is higher than their average surrendered last year of 389.1 The Steelers are ranked 13th defensively, giving up 371 yards per game, in comparison to their 310.8 allowed per game in 2020.
- Against the run, the Raiders rank dead last, allowing 189 yards per game, which considering they played the rushing-dominant Ravens, is understandable. In 2020, the Raiders allowed 125.8 yards per game.
- The Steelers rank 18th against the run currently, allowing 117 yards, slightly higher than what they gave up in 2020, 112.4 yards.
- Against the pass, the Raiders are 11th, as they allowed 217 yards against the Ravens, which is well under the 263.2 yards per game passing they gave up in 2020. The Steelers gave up 254 total passing yards last week, which is good for 15th in the NFL, and is much higher than their 198.4 yards surrendered to the pass per game in 2020.
- Cameron Heyward spoke to the media today and emanated confidence in terms of his place among the current greats on the defensive line in the NFL. Heyward said, “There are a lot of other players who are good at my position, but I don’t see the reason why they’re better than me.” That’s not Heyward being arrogant, that’s simply confidence, and the argument can be made that he is accurate. Heyward’s performance on Sunday was exceptional, maybe the best of his career, and quite possibly if it continues, it won’t just be TJ Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick challenging for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
- Is Stephon Tuitt going to make it back to the team this year? Tyson Alualu seems to think so. There have been some rumblings that potentially he would miss the season, but his teammates believe otherwise. Regardless, Chris Wormley played well in Tuitt’s absence, and the team should be encouraged about what he can provide in the interim.
- Minkah Fitzpatrick is going to move around in the defense this year, something that made him unhappy in Miami. However, Keith Butler indicated that Fitzpatrick wanted to be utilized in multiple ways: “We didn’t have to convince him of anything. He was wanting to do that. He enjoyed himself and we enjoyed him doing it.” Quite the different mindset from when he was with the Dolphins.
- Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter had this to say about Ben Roethlisberger on Good Morning Football: “Ben makes excuses. Ben complains. And then Ben brings that attention to himself. He’s gonna be complaining about that offensive coordinator. Ben’s not the sharpest QB we’ve ever seen in the NFL. For real.” Why so much antipathy for Ben? It’s ridiculous how much hate this guy gets.
My prediction of the Raiders game will be up tomorrow, and episode #21 of The Steel Study Podcast will be available on Saturday AM. In the meantime, have a great Thursday!