The Pittsburgh Steelers have their home opener against what might be head coach Mike Tomlin’s most formidable foe over the years in the New England Patriots. The Steelers will face the Patriots for the first time since quarterback Tom Brady’s departure, as will the Patriots against the Steelers for the first time since quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s departure. Entering Week 2, there is now a sample size, albeit a small one, of what both of these teams look like. As such, here are some statistics to keep an eye out for this coming Week 2 match up.
78.8, 95.8. According to Pro Football Focus, both teams’ starting quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky and Mac Jones had a better passer rating when pressured than when kept clean. Trubisky’s passer rating under pressure was 78.8, while his rating with a clean pocket was marginally lower at 77.9. Meanwhile, Jones’ passer rating was 95.8 under pressure, and 86.3 with a clean pocket. For context, Jones was pressured on five snaps, while Trubisky was on eight. While the Miami Dolphins held Jones and company to seven points, his play when pressured wasn’t necessarily the impetus. On the other hand, look for Trubisky to not make mistakes under pressure.
8.1. When his intended air yards per attempt/average depth of target is over 8.1 yards from the line of scrimmage, Mac Jones is 1-6. When this number is under 8.1, he is 9-2. As defensive end Cameron Heyward recently mentioned on his Not Just Football podcast, the Steelers must force New England into must-throw situations, which evidently hinders Jones’ comfortability and success.
2-9. Mac Jones is 2-9 when opposing teams score over 14 points. While the Steelers’ offense did not play amazing against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1, they must put together at least several scoring drives.
1. The Steelers trail the Patriots by one game in the all-time series. With a home win, they could tie the series at 17-17.
0. Teams are 8-0 against the Patriots since Tom Brady left (2020-2022) when they don’t turn the football over. In that same span, the Steelers are 10-1 in games where they don’t turn the football over.