Steel Mill A.M.: Steelers stats, snap counts and storylines
Steelers 40, Titans 17
Three stats to know:
1. With catches of 41, 27 and 23 yards Thursday, Antonio Brown moved into the NFL lead both in catches of 20-plus yards (16) and 40-plus yards (five).
2. Ben Roethlisberger officially attempted nine passes more than 15 yards downfield Thursday (and another that was nullified by a Martavis Bryant interference penalty), completing three of them for 84 yards and a touchdown.
3. Roethlisberger improved to 19-3 in regular-season night games at home, including 6-0 in Thursday night games at Heinz Field.
Snap counts to know:
Offense – WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (67 of 76), WR Martavis Bryant (45), WR Eli Rogers (26), TE Jesse James (76), TE Xavier Grimble (9)
Defense – S Robert Golden (65 of 65), CB Coty Sensabaugh (64), DE Cameron Heyward (56), DT Javon Hargrave (23), LB Arthur Moats (14)
Weekly schedule: Coach Mike Tomlin gave the team three days off. They will practice next on Monday before settling into something of a normal weekly routine afterward (albeit with practice Thursday likely moved up a few hours out of respect for Thanksgiving).
Next game: Green Bay Packers (5-4) at Steelers (8-2), 8:25 p.m. Nov. 26, Heinz Field
Three storylines for the week:
1. Is the offense back? After more than a half-season of consternation about the offense’s (relative) struggles, a 40-point breakout could change that narrative quickly. Will the extensive use of no-huddle and of the passing game in the offensive explosion be a sign of what’s to come for the Steelers offense down the stretch?
2. How high can they go? It’s already the best 10-game start in what has been the highly-successful Mike Tomlin era. The Steelers hold the No. 1 seed at the moment – but can they hold off New England and others for it?
3. Enjoy the break. For all the complaining some NFL players do about the short rest associated with Thursday night games, they sure don’t have much negative to say about the three free days off after it’s over. The Steelers should come back refreshed for practices next week.