You would think that when the Steelers only play the Falcons once every four years, you would have some crazy stats pop up as they do in most games.
You would be incorrect in that assumption regarding the Pittsburgh victory over the Falcons. The win on Sunday was perhaps the most routine statistical win they have had over any team this season or in the series history of any franchise in the NFL. However, in franchise history, Kenny Pickett is the first rookie quarterback to ever start against the Falcons.
Since 1966 the Steelers against the Falcons are 15-2-1. Their only two losses were in 2006 and 1970. So the Pittsburgh win was essentially a routine victory.
The Steelers had 37 rushing attempts, their highest total since 2002 when they had 42 rushing attempts. It was their 5th highest number of rushing attempts. Their highest number of rushing totals came in 1974, with 52 rushing attempts.
In conjunction, they had 154 rushing yards on Sunday. Again it was their 5th highest rushing total against the Falcons. And again, the most rushing yards since their 2002 victory when they posted 182 rushing yards.
Najee Harris had 86 rushing yards, which was ho-hum compared to other Black and gold running backs. It was the Steelers 10th highest performance of all time. Franco Harris still holds the all-time record of 141 rushing yards in the Pittsburgh victory in 1974.
If there was one, the odd stat is Pat Freiermuth’s 76 receiving yards. He now has the most receiving yards of all tight ends. He eclipsed Heath Miller’s 68 receiving yards from the 2014 victory. Odder, yet Freiermuth’s 25.3 yards per reception is only the 9th highest receiving total of all time against the Falcons. The Highest total belongs to Derek Hill, wide receiver, who had 66 yards per reception, and Richard Bell, running back, who had 43 yards per reception in the same game in 1990.
The Steelers 197 passing yards was the 13th-highest in team history against the Falcons. Hence it was nothing special in the win. In the Last game in 2018, the Steelers had 250 passing yards. The most Passing yards against the Falcons came in 2002 when Tommy Maddox lit up the Falcons for 463 passing yards.
Even in total yards, the Steelers 351 was only the 12th highest in franchise history against the Falcons. The highest total came in the 2002 game when Tommy Maddux fended off the Falcons in an overtime tie. The Steelers only had two losses, one of which came in 2006 when they lost in overtime 38-41. Again Sunday’s performance was average in just another Steelers win over the Falcons.
With an average win against the Falcons, the Steelers faced the Ravens in their first meeting in 2022, and every time they meet, you can expect the unusual in some capacity.