Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Steelers @ Denver: Wild Card Weekend

The Steelers limp into Denver a bruised and battered team; so while some (i.e. fans) may be taking the game for granted, right now the view here is that Pittsburgh is ripe for a first round upset, despite being early eight point favorites (for those inclined to place a wager, the safer bet would appear to be taking the under 39.5 combined points).

But pessimism is as natural to Steelers fans as snow is to Denver, so perhaps we should just look at the final numbers ~ which never lie.

Denver Offense v. Steelers Defense
Average total yards per game: Denver offense 23rd (316.6) v. Steelers defense 1st (271.8)

Average net rushing yards per game: Denver offense 1st (164.5) v. Steelers defense 8th (99.8)

Average net passing yards per game: Denver offense 31st (152.1) v. Steelers defense 1st (171.9)

Average points per game: Denver offense 25th (19.3) v. Steelers defense 1st (14.2)

Steelers Offense v. Denver Defense
Average total yards per game: Steelers offense 12th (372.3) v. Denver defense 20th (357.8)

Average net rushing yards per game: Steelers offense 14th (118.9) v. Denver defense 22nd (126.3)

Average net passing yards per game: Steelers offense 10th (253.4) v. Denver defense 18th (231.5)

Average points per game: Steelers offense: 21st (20.3) v. Denver defense 24th (24.4)

Special Teams
Average yards per punt return: Denver 3rd (12.7) v. Steelers 13th (10.5)

Average yards allowed per punt return: Denver 19th (11.5) v. Steelers 12th (8.4)

Average yards per kick return: Denver 15th (23.9) v. Steelers 10th (24.4)

Average yards allowed per kick return: Denver 20th (24.6) v. Steelers 17th (23.7)

Net yardage punting average: Denver 8th (40.2) v. Steelers 22nd (38.6)

Opponent net yardage punting average: Denver 12th (38.2) v. Steelers 17th (38.9)

Miscellaneous
Turnover differential: Denver 26th (-12) v. Steelers 29th (-13)

Time of possession: Denver 25th (29:37) v. Steelers 2nd (32:46)

Red Zone touchdown efficiency (touchdowns): Denver 24th (47.2%) v. Steelers 17th (50.9%)

Red Zone defense (touchdowns): Denver 14th (51.9%) v. Steelers 17th (54.8%)

Sacks allowed: Denver 23rd (42) v. Steelers 23rd (42)

Some Individual Numbers
AFC Passer rating: Tim Tebow, 15th (72.9) v. Ben Roethlisberger, 3rd (90.1)

AFC Leading rushers: Willis McGahee, 4th (1,199 yards, 4.8 yards per carry, 4 touchdowns) v. Isaac Redman, 24th (479 yards, 4.4 yards per carry, 3 touchdowns)

NOTE: Tim Tebow is the 15th leading rusher in the AFC with 660 yards, 5.4 yards per carry, and 6 rushing touchdowns.

AFC Leading receiver: Eric Decker, 42nd (44 catches, 612 yards, 13.9 per catch, 8 touchdowns) v. Mike Wallace 10th (72 catches, 1,193 yards, 16.6 yards per catch, 8 touchdowns)

NOTE: The Steelers have four receivers amongst the top 50 in the AFC (Mike Wallace #10, Antonio Brown #12, Heath Miller #31, and Hines Ward #38) while the Broncos have only one.

AFC Sack Leaders: Von Miller, 4th (11.5) v. LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison 9th (9.0)

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