Over / Beneath by Steeler’s postseason versus common season stats: Offense

The 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers failed to meet their goals of the season. After the 11-0 start, the sky seemed to be the limit for this team. But to get just one win in the last seven games, including the postseason, things quickly headed south.

The Steelers fell in the wild card round to the Cleveland Browns 48-37 and could not achieve their performance from the regular season. Places where the team excelled had problems, and places where the team might have had a deficit they had surpassed.

Where did the numbers match? In which areas did the Steelers exceed their regular season averages and where did they fall short?

While “over” and “under” seem like a good way of describing these things, not all statistics are rated positively. For example, the teams wanted a large number of points but a small number of sales. With that in mind, we will use the terms “overachievement”, “underachievement” and “push” to describe the statistical categories for the Steelers’ performance in their postseason game compared to their regular season average.


Points scored: 26.0 regular season, 37 postseason
Yards / play: 5.13 yards regular season, 6.58 yards postseason
First downs: 1/20 regular season, 34 postseason
Graduations / attempts: 26.8 out of 41.0 regular season, 47 out of 68 postseason
Drive past: 250.2 yards regular season, 501 yards postseason
Touchdowns exist: 2.2 regular season, 4 postseason

Although there were a number of categories in which the Steelers came up with better numbers than the regular season, the game situation and the drop by so many points determined the style of play. The fact that the Steelers put up 1.45 yards per game in the playoffs is an interesting statistic, along with the number of early defeats they’ve hit. Although the numbers for completions and attempts were higher, which is mostly not good, the completion percentage was significantly better than the regular season at 69.1% versus 65.2%. Overtaking yards isn’t a very meaningful statistic as Ben Roethlisberger never passed more than 275 yards in a playoff win. He has more than twice as many yards in the air as the regular season average.


Sales: 1,125 regular season, 5 postseason
Fumbles lost: 0.44 regular season, 1 postseason
Intercept: 0.69 regular season, 4 postseason
Urgent attempts: 23.3 regular season, 16 postseason
Express Gardens: 84.4 yards regular season, 52 yards postseason
Express gardens / trial: 3.62 years regular season, 3.25 years postseason

The fact that there are so many stats out there that are below average like the previous category shows why the big passing numbers didn’t lead to a win. Yes, the division of sales into the different categories skews things a bit, but its overall importance to the outcome of the game cannot be emphasized enough. Obviously, due to the game circumstances, the Steelers didn’t rush the ball nearly as much as they did the regular season, but their persistently low performance in terms of mileage should be noted despite their yards not that far off pace per try.

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Dismiss: 0.875 regular season, 0 postseason
Rushing touchdowns: 0.75 regular season, 1 postseason

There weren’t that many categories that the Steelers performed similarly to the regular season. Not giving up many sacks a year showed that it was to be expected that no sacks would be given up in the playoffs. In addition, the Steelers completed three touchdowns every four games in 2020, so a quick touchdown in the postseason was a given.

So there’s a comparison of the Steelers’ postseason statistical performance versus regular season for a number of offensive categories. While the Steelers tried in some areas to make up for by over-performing, the sales ultimately led to the downfall of the crime. When it comes to defense, it was a whole different story set out in Part 2, which is coming to BTSC soon.

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