The Steelers managed a big win following their bye week when they played the Saints on Sunday. In the process, they hit several milestones as well.
The game was Mike Tomlin’s 250th game as Pittsburgh’s head coach. However, during his tenure as Steelers head coach, he had never beaten the Saints. Tomlin had secured a victory against every other team in the league except the Saints. The Steelers last beat the Saints in 2006 under Bill Cowher and had lost to them in 2010, 2014, and 2018 until they finally won on Sunday.
An interesting side note to the game being Mike Tomlin’s 250th, Andy Dalton’s start against the Steelers was his 17th, the 4th most starts against the black and gold by a quarterback. He trails Ken Anderson, who had 23, Joe Flacco at 21, and Warren Moon, who had 21.
Steelers Rushing Milestones
Najee Harris had his best rushing performance against the Saints finishing with 99 yards, via ESPN stats. He had the second-longest rush at 36 yards, one yard short of his 37-yard rush in 2021. He also averaged 5.0 yards per attempt; it was the 3rd highest game average ever and his first that high since the finale against in the 2021 season.
However, it is his highest single-game average against an NFC team. That said, his performance has another significance. He averaged 5.0 yards per attempt with 20 rushes. It’s his career-best average having 20-plus rushes.
It was not just Najee Harris who ran wild against the Saints. The Steelers had not only their running back, but also wide receiver George Pickens and quarterback Kenny Pickett have at least one rush of at least 20 yards or more. The last time that happened goes back to the Miami game on 12/18/1988. In that game, quarterback Bubby Brister had a rush for 20 yards, wide receiver Louis Lipps had a rush for 39 yards, and running back Warren Williams had a rush for 33 yards.
Kenny Pickett runs as well?
Not only did Kenny Pickett have a rush for over 20 yards, but he also posted 51 rushing yards, and it’s not exactly something that has happened much in recent Pittsburgh football history. The last time a quarterback ran for over 50 yards was Ben Roethlisberger in 2010 against Oakland when he rushed for 55 yards.
However, it’s only the 3rd time it’s occurred since Kordell Stewart rushed for 84 yards against Jacksonville on 12/1/2002. Who was the last quarterback other than Big Ben and Kordell Stewart to rush for over 50 yards in one game? Mark Malone in 1984.
Steelers have a ground attack with an air attack
In total, the Steelers had 217 rushing yards and 199 passing yards too. It’s the first such game since a win over the Bills on 12/11/2016. The Steelers are now 14-0 since 1960, rushing for 217 plus yards and passing for over 199. Pittsburgh’s most yards rushing when passing for at least 199 was 343 yards against the Jets on 9/20/1981. The Most passing yards when rushing for at least 217 yards? It was 351 yards against Cleveland in overtime on 11/25/1979.
From the Steelers odd files
The game on Sunday was the 3rd game in Steelers history when they Scored 20 points against the Saints. The two previous games were in 1981 and 1978. Pittsburgh is now 3-0 against New Orleans when scoring exactly 20 points. However, when they score 21 plus points against the Saints, their record drops to a paltry 3-5.
At halftime, the Steelers and saints were tied at 10 points each, and the Steelers eventually won 20-10. The last time the Saints and Steelers had a tie at halftime occurred in 2010, and the Saints went on to win that game 20-10
On Sunday the Steelers averaged as a team 6.6 yards a carry. The Steelers have averaged 6.6 yards per attempt or better against the Saints twice since 2006. In 2006 they averaged 8.3, the highest single-game total in team history. Plus it’s the second game the Steelers have against the Saints in which they passed for 199 plus and rushed for at least 217 or more yards which also occurred in the 2006 game.
The Steelers win was a big relief for frustrated fans, and they managed to do it in a historic fashion. Next week they play the Bengals; as always, you know something interesting will happen statistically.