A deeper dive into some key numbers from the AFC Wild Card game against the Miami Dolphins.
At field level, the thermometer read 17 degrees. That was a lie, because the wind chill was 15 degrees colder, making it feel like a frigid 2 degrees.
It took Antonio Brown just three receptions to cross the 100 receiving yard mark. The first was a 7-yarder. The next two catches went for touchdowns of 50 yards and 62 yards respectively. After catching just three passes (7:58 into the game) Brown had already logged 119 receiving yards.
Fun fact: those two touchdowns were Brown's first postseason touchdowns of his career. Seriously.
In fact, the Steelers were successful on their first three drives, scoring touchdowns on each.
Three different Steelers defenders forced fumbles against the Dolphins. William Gay and Mike Mitchell each logged a sack-fumble on Miami's Matt Moore; both were recovered by the Steelers defense. The third fumble was forced by Al-Hajj Shabazz, but the Dolphins were able to keep possession.
Ryan Shazier hauled in an interception against the Dolphins, picking off Moore in the third quarter. It marks the third consecutive game in which Shazier has recorded an interception, and his first postseason INT.
It wasn't just that the turnovers happened. They happened consecutively. The defense forced turnovers on three consecutive Miami drives. Those were (in order) a fumble recovery, a fumble recovery, and an interception.
The Steelers offense rumbled for 4 touchdowns. 2 of those went through the air to Brown, and two of those went on the ground to Le'Veon Bell.
Bell finished the game with 167 rushing yards on 29 carries, for an average of 5.8 yards per carry.
Bell's 167 rushing yards surpassed a Steelers playoff record by 9 yards. The previous record holder for most rushing yards by a Steelers player in a playoff game was Franco Harris with 158 (Jan. 12, 1975).
All of that happened in Bell's first ever NFL postseason game.
In Week 6, Miami's Jay Ajayi rushed for over 200 yards. The Steelers defense came into the Wild Card game knowing they had to shut down Ajayi to achieve a Steelers victory. Mission accomplished. Ajayi managed only 33 yards on 16 carries.
92 and 94
A big reason for the Steelers' stingy rush defense was the tackling of Ryan Shazier and Harrison. Both linebackers finished with double-digit tackles (leading both teams) and more than 1.0 sacks. Timmons logged 14 total tackles (8 solo, 6 assists), 2 back-to-back solo sacks for a total loss of 21 yards, and 2 additional tackles for a loss. Harrison logged 10 total tackles (6 solo, 4 assists), 1.5 sacks, and 1 tackle for a loss.
The other players who registered at least a half sack against the Dolphins were Mitchell (1.0) and Bud Dupree (0.5). In all, the Steelers defense tallied 5 sacks.
Including the 2016 Regular Season, the Steelers are now on an 8-game winning streak.
Next up is the Divisional playoff game. The Steelers will face the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET. We'll see you there, Steelers Nation!
Game action from the AFC Wild Card game against the Miami Dolphins.