HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN
- TV coverage: Broadcast nationally on FOX (WPGH-TV locally in Pittsburgh).
- Steelers Radio Network - Game coverage begins at 1:00 p.m. ET; Pregame programming begins at 9:00 a.m.; Postgame coverage starts immediately following the game.
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The Steelers are at home as they face the Buccaneers at Acrisure Stadium.
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These teams have only met on 11 occasions. Pittsburgh leads the series 9-2, including five victories in their most recent six matchups. Tampa Bay got a victory against the Steelers in 2014 and 1998 and Pittsburgh won the first four matchups, including a 42-0 whitewash in 1976, the Buccaneers' first year in the NFL. Tampa Bay went 0-14 in 1976. The most recent meeting between these two teams occurred in Tampa Bay in 2018, with the Steelers getting a 30-27 win.
- The Buccaneers have played at home the past three weeks, but they are perfect on the road this year having won in Dallas and New Orleans to start the 2022 season. They were 6-3 on the road last year and 6-2 away from home in 2020, making their 14-5 on the road with Tom Brady at quarterback.
- Pittsburgh's offense averages 4.8 yards per play. Tampa Bay's offense produces 5.3 yards per play and its defense surrenders just 4.7.
- In terms of turnover differential, the Buccaneers are plus-3, and the Steelers are plus-1. Pittsburgh's 10 takeaways and the nine by Tampa is near the most in the NFL right now. Three teams are tied with a league-high 11 takeaways.
- Tampa Bay has a dozen more sacks than it has allowed.
- Neither the Buccaneers nor the Steelers have scored an offensive touchdown in the first quarter of their games this season.
WHEN PITTSBURGH HAS THE BALL
- When throwing outside the numbers last week, Kenny Pickett completed 28 of a possible 39 passes despite the extreme Buffalo winds.
- In terms of yards per route run, rookie George Pickens comes in at 1.43, Diontae Johnson sits at 1.39, and Chase Claypool is producing .68 yards every time he goes out on a pass pattern. Pickens averages 14.8 yards per reception.
- The Falcons finished last week's game in Tampa with just 110 passing yards.
- The Bucs sacked Marcus Mariota five times in Week 5. This defense has six different players with multiple sacks through five games. Only two defenses have more sacks this year than Tampa Bay. Five defenses blitz a higher percentage of the time.
- Tampa Bay gave up 151 rushing yards last week. After gaining 54 yards on the ground last week, the Steelers are averaging 88.6 yards per game.
- Najee Harris is averaging 3.2 yards per carry in his second season. His high-water mark for total yardage is 89 yards.
- The Steelers possessed the football for a season-high 36:08 in their loss in Buffalo.
- Of a possible 345 defensive snaps this season, the combination of Devin White, Antoine Winfield, Lavonte David, Jamel Dean and Mike Edwards have missed a total of three plays.
- Tampa Bay's defense is eighth in EPA per play, fifth in EPA per dropback, and 20th in EPA against the run. The Bucs allow just 6.1 yards per pass attempt.
- The Buccaneers are forcing 5.6 sacks plus turnovers per game. That is best in the league.
- Tampa Bay's defense had a rough outing against the Chiefs, but that game aside, it has allowed 27 combined points to Dallas, New Orleans and Green Bay.
WHEN TAMPA BAY HAS THE BALL
- Including the playoffs, Tom Brady has faced the Steelers 15 times in his career, winning 12 of those games. He has thrown 34 touchdowns against five interceptions against Pittsburgh. Brady has also squared off against a rookie quarterback 28 times, winning 23 of those matchups including the last 12. His first loss to a rookie quarterback came in 2004 to Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh.
- Tampa Bay is throwing the ball 66.9 percent of the time. Only the Rams throw a higher percentage. Over the past three weeks, the Bucs have passed on 77.7 percent of their snaps, by far the most in the NFL during that time.
- Brady threw for 351 yards in Week 5. Josh Allen and Justin Herbert are the only quarterbacks that have thrown for more yardage than Brady this year.
- Brady has thrown 52 passes in each of Tampa Bay's last two games. Since 2016, Brady is 5-2 when he throws 50-plus passes in a game. The rest of the NFL quarterbacks are 21-105-4 during that same stretch when throwing the ball at least 50 times.
- Of the 104 passes Brady has thrown over the past two weeks, 27 have gone to running backs.
- During the first three weeks of the season, Tampa Bay's pass catchers gained just 292 yards after the catch, which ranked 22nd in the league. Over the past two weeks, Brady's receivers have created 383 yards after the catch, the most in the league the past two weeks.
- Brady's 2.4 seconds average time to throw is the fastest in the league.
- Brady currently ranks 12th in EPA per play. He is just ahead of Joe Burrow and right behind Justin Herbert. But through five weeks, he only has one multiple passing touchdown performance.
- Five Tampa Bay wide receivers have played between 113 and 221 snaps in 2022. And a total of nine wide outs have seen the field in the Bucs offense thus far.
- Mike Evans averages 15.8 yards per catch in 2022. His 2.26 yards per route run is also an elite number. Julio Jones averages 1.95, Chris Godwin is at 1.89, Breshad Perriman comes in at 1.33, while Russell Gage is at 1.1 yards per route run.
- Evans has produced at least 60 receiving yards in every game he has played this season. He is also averaging 10.9 yards per target which is the second-best mark of his nine-year career.
- Godwin ran 22 pass routes in the first half of last week's game, but just five in the second half against Atlanta. Over the course of the year, Brady is completing an amazing 84 percent of his passes targeted for Godwin.
- Rookie tight end Cade Otton ran 49 routes on 53 of Brady's dropbacks last week. That 92.5 percent route participation is near the top of the league for the tight end position. Otton's seven targets in that game is one more than he has gotten in his other games combined and only four tight ends around the league played a higher percentage of their team's snaps in Week 5.
- Leonard Fournette caught 10 passes in Week 5 and led the team in targets. He has the second most targets and receiving yards on the Buccaneers, but the most receptions. Austin Ekeler is the only running back in the league with more catches.
- Fournette has 280 rushing yards this year. No other Buccaneer has more than 35. Fournette has 74 rushing attempts. The rest of the team combined has 32. Fournette blew up in Week 1, rushing for 127 yards, but since then he has just 153 yards on 53 carries.
- Rookie running back Rachaad White's role in the offense is growing. Over the last two games, White played 40 percent of the offensive snaps and ran a route on 38 percent of the dropbacks.
- The Buccaneers only ran for 69 yards last week. They average just 3.1 yards per rushing attempt for the season. Only 20.4 percent of their rushing attempts have generated a touchdown or first down, which is 31st in the NFL.
- Defining explosive plays as runs of 10 yards or more and passes of 20-plus yards, Tampa Bay's 25 explosives is only better than the Panthers, Cowboys, Bengals and Rams.
- Alex Highsmith has 5.5 sacks this year. Brady has only been sacked on 3.3 percent of his dropbacks, fourth-best in the NFL.
- Of a possible 366 defensive snaps this year, the Steelers have four players that have played 318 snaps or more, Minkah Fitzpatrick (363), Cameron Sutton (336), Myles Jack (332), and Alex Highsmith (318).
- Pittsburgh has five players that have played 90 or more special teams snaps: Jamir Jones, Miles Killebrew, Conner Hayward, Benny Snell, and Derek Watt. The Buccaneers have two players, KJ Britt and Dee Delaney, that have that many special teams snaps played.
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MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
Oct. 21, 2001: Steelers 17, Buccaneers 10, Raymond James Stadium
The Buccaneers entered this game as a hot, young team picked to perhaps be a Super Bowl contender. And they did a lot of talking in the week leading up to the game, particularly defensive tackle Warren Sapp. But Jerome Bettis ran all over Sapp and the vaunted defense, gaining 143 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. He also threw a touchdown pass to tight end Jerame Tuman, as the Steelers held the Bucs to just 278 total yards and 10 points. Tampa Bay quarterback Brad Johnson was sacked 10 times. Following the game, Steelers safety Lethon Flowers went on a rant, calling the Bucs, "Paper Champions."
FACTS FROM NFL RESEARCH
- Kenny Pickett had 327 pass yards in Week 5 for the Steelers - Most pass yards in a game by PIT rookie since at least 1950 - Most pass yards in first career start by PIT QB since at least 1950
- LB Alex Highsmith has 5.5 sacks in 2022 (T-5th-most in NFL)
- WR Diontae Johnson leads the Steelers w/ 28 receptions & 267 rec yards in 2022
- Rookie WR George Pickens has had 6 receptions & 80+ rec yards in back-to-back games
- Pickens has 10 receptions & 154 rec yards from Pickett (both team-highs) - Pickett targeting Pickens: 10-12, 154 yds, 0 INT, 118.8 passer rating
- Buccaneers QB Tom Brady vs. Steelers Secondary - Brady has a full stable of receivers, something that has been a problem for Tampa Bay this season. And Pittsburgh could be down several defensive backs for this matchup, something that was a huge problem in Buffalo.
- Steelers OC Mason Cole vs. Buccaneers DT Vita Vea - The Buccaneers are notoriously difficult to run against over the past several years. Vea has a ton to do with that. Not only is he a mountain of a man in the traditional nose tackle sense in the middle of Tampa Bay's defense, but he can push the pocket. Vea is a remarkable athlete that is extremely difficult for any interior offensive lineman to deal with one-on-one. Pittsburgh needs to generate an interior running game with Najee Harris. In order to get that done, the Steelers can't allow Vea to dominate the middle of the offensive line.