Steelers fans are still reeling from the horrible loss to the Houston Texans this past Sunday. While there was not much for fans to cheer about once Kenny Pickett was injured, the Texans dominated from that point, ending any chance of a comeback win. Nevertheless, even in a loss, we can come up with some unusual stats.
The loss, with a final score of 30-6, is the most lopsided Texan win over the Steelers in Texan team history. Interestingly enough, if you include the Houston Oilers, it's the second loss to a Houston team with six points or less. In December 1991, the Houston Oilers knocked off the Steelers 31-6.
Nico Collins’ 168 receiving yards was the most ever by a Houston Texan receiver against the Steelers. Even the Houston Oilers never had a receiver with that many receiving yards; thus, it's a first for any team from Houston against the Steelers
Mike Tomlin, heading into Sunday's game, was 23-4 against rookie quarterbacks in his career as head coach. However, he dropped to 23-5 as C.J. Stroud shredded the Steelers defense for 306 passing yards. Here is what's interesting, though. In Steelers team history, only four rookie quarterbacks had passed for over 300 yards until today.
While there are for rookie quarterbacks to pass for over 300 yards, three played the Steelers between 2016 and 2017. Who were the previous four rookie quarterbacks to pass for over 300 yards? In the 2016 season, it was Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz, and in 2017, it was DeShone Kizer with the Browns.
The 4th was in 1984; it was Warren Moon. Although he was a rookie in the NFL, he had played several seasons in the Canadian Football League. What’s odder yet is including C.J. Stoud today; three of the now five rookie quarterbacks to pass for over 300 yards against the Steelers were with teams hailing from Texas.
When the Steelers fail to sack
In the Steelers loss to the Texans, the Steelers did not record a sack. With this loss, they are now 40-71 when not recording a sack. The last Steelers win without a sack was a Monday night against Washington on September 9th, 2016. Remember that the Steelers recorded at least one sack from week 9 in 2016 until 9/26/2021 against the Bengals. That’s 74 consecutive games. Since that streak ended in 2021, the Steelers are now 0-6 when they do not have a sack.
Moving the Chains with the ground game
The Steelers only made four first downs via their passing game against the Texans; however, they did have seven first downs via their running game. Since this became a stat in the NFL, it’s the first time since 2005 against the Green Bay Packers that the Steelers had less than five first downs passing with at least seven first downs from the running game.
Rookie Passer Ratings
C.J. Stroud, in his win over the Steelers had a passer rating of 111.2. He now has the 6th highest passer rating as a rookie against the Steelers, and his performance was the highest passing rating of a rookie since Dak Prescott’s 121.7 on 11/13/2016 game against the Dallas Cowboys.
However, we should note Carson Wentz had a higher passer rating of 125.9 earlier that season on 9/25/2016. However, the highest rookie quarterback passer rating of a Houston Texan before C.J. Stroud’s 111.2 was David Carr, who had a rating of 40.8. However, if you also include the Houston Oilers before they moved, then Dan Pastorini had an 86.6 passer rating on 12/5/1971
Despite Carson Wentz's rookie passer rating of 125.9, it is not the highest passer rating a rookie quarterback has had against the Steelers. That honor belongs to Sonny Jurgensen with Philadelphia; he went 4/5 for 56 yards and finished with a rating of 152.9. Yes, he did not come off the bench; he was the starter in that game but had very few passes as they rushed the ball 37 times for 155 yards.
From the odder files
In 2016, two rookies had passer ratings of over 100. That has happened three times in the Steelers history. Before 2016 it occurred in 1998 when Jonathan Quinn, quarterback of Jacksonville, had a rating of 105.6, and Charlie Batch, with Detroit at the time, had a passer rating of 117.3. Before that, it happened in 1954 when rookie Bob Clatterbuck of the Giants had a passer rating of 110.8, and Lamar McHan of the Chicago Cardinals had a passer rating of 102.5
Even odder still, of three 11 rookie quarterbacks to have a passer rating of 100 or higher, four of them played with Philadelphia (Sonny Jurgensen and Carson Wentz) and the New York Giants (Eli Manning and Bob Clatterbuck), and eight played on NFC teams with only three playing for AFC teams.
Next Week, the Steelers face the Baltimore Ravens, which is always a close contest; however, the Steelers have their work cut out for them. Win, lose, or draw, every game with the hated rival Ravens always manages to produce any number of odd stats and milestones.