Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Steelers @ Tennessee: The Matchups

When looking at this game there are any number of directions to go.

For instance, the Steelers are 6-0 in which their opponent has scored first, and Tennessee is 8-1 in games in which they have scored first.

There is the fact that the Steelers have struggled mightily in Nashville (2-8 in their last ten games at Tennessee, and have been outscored 223-185).

Of course there is also the fact that, here in 2008, the Steelers defense continues to stake their claim to being the best Steelers' defense ever. For example, according to a brief item in the Los Angeles Times the Steelers have now tied the record for most consecutive games without yielding 300 yards of offense (the 1973 Los Angeles Rams previously held the record by themselves). Additionally, opposing quarterbacks have been held to a 60.9 collective QB rating, and running backs are gaining an average of 3.2 yards per carry ~ the lowest such average since the 2000 season.

Here is how the numbers measure up this week:

Tennessee Offense v. Steelers Defense
Average total yards per game: Tennessee offense 19th (326.5) v. Steelers defense 1st (239.1)

Average net rushing yards per game: Tennessee offense 5th (142.8) v. Steelers defense 2nd (75.8)

Average net passing yards per game: Tennessee offense 25th (183.7) v. Steelers defense 1st (163.3)

Average points per game: Tennessee offense 10th (24.57) v. Steelers defense 1st (13.71)

Steelers Offense v. Tennessee Defense
Average total yards per game: Steelers offense 24th (303.4) v. Tennessee defense 4th (281.0)

Average net rushing yards per game: Steelers offense 23rd (102.9) v. Tennessee defense 9th (93.4)

Average net passing yards per game: Steelers offense 17th (200.5) v. Tennessee defense 5th (187.6)

Average points per game: Steelers offense: 21st (21.57) v. Tennessee defense 2nd (14.07)

Special Teams
Average yards per punt return: Tennessee 12th (9.9) v. Steelers 28th (6.5)

Average yards allowed per punt return: Tennessee 16th (9.6) v. Steelers 4th (5.8)

Average yards per kick return: Tennessee 5th (24.7) v. Steelers 30th (20.4)

Average yards allowed per kick return: Tennessee 30th (25.4) v. Steelers 1st (19.4)

Net yardage punting average: Tennessee 16th (36.8) v. Steelers 27th (35.6)

Opponent net yardage punting average: Tennessee 5th (35.9) v. Steelers 23rd (38.4)

Turnover differential: Tennessee 2nd (+10) v. Steelers 8th (+7)

Time of possession: Tennessee 20th (29:41) v. Steelers 9th (31:25)

Red Zone touchdown efficiency (touchdowns): Tennessee 5th (61.4%) v. Steelers 11th (56.8%)

Red Zone defense (touchdowns): Tennessee 12th (50.0%) v. Steelers 1st (31.7%)

Sacks allowed: Tennessee 1st (8) v. Steelers 29th (44)

Some Individual Numbers
AFC Passer rating: Kerry Collins, 11th (78.7) v. Ben Roethlisberger, 10th (80.2)

AFC Leading rushers: Chris Johnson, 2nd (1,159 yards) v. Willie Parker, 13th (644 yards)
Note: Lendale White is the 10th leading rushing in the AFC with 700 yards.

Leading receivers: Bo Scaife, 25th (53 catches, 528 yards, 9.96 per catch, 1 touchdowns) v. Hines Ward, 10th (68 catches, 864 yards, 12.7 yards per catch, 6 touchdowns)

AFC Passes Dropped: Justin Gage, 8th (6 ~ tied) v. Hines Ward, 5th (7 ~ tied)
Note: Santonio Holmes officially has 6 dropped passes.

AFC Sack Leaders: Albert Haynesworth, 7th (8.5) v. James Harrison, 2nd (15.0)
Note: Jacob Ford is Tennessee's leading, active sacker with 6.0

AFC Interception Leaders: Cortland Finnegan, 3rd (5, 1 touchdown) v. Troy Polamalu, 1st (7, 0 touchdowns)