NFL

Stats Perform's NFL Friday Facts: Franchise history awaits unbeaten Steelers

By Sports Desk October 30, 2020

The Pittsburgh Steelers are the last remaining unbeaten team in the NFL, but the Baltimore Ravens will hope to stop them earning a slice of history.

For just the second time, the Steelers are 6-0 and victory at M&T Bank Stadium would see them match the franchise-best seven-game undefeated start set in 1978.

Games between these NFC North rivals are typically tight affairs, though. Since 2008, 14 of their 24 regular-season meetings have been decided by three points or fewer – the most of any matchup in that time frame – and the Ravens have won eight of those 14 nail-biters.

The Minnesota Vikings have the unenviable task of trying to stop an in-form Aaron Rodgers when they return from their bye week, while a significant milestone is in the offing for Travis Kelce.

We use Stats Perform data to preview the standout matchups on the Week 8 slate.
 

FEATURED GAME

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens – Sunday 1pm (all times Eastern)

- Lamar Jackson has been held under 200 passing yards in four consecutive starts, though the Ravens won three of those games. Jackson has completed less than 60 per cent of his attempts in three of his last four contests, dropping his season completion percentage to 63 – 26th among 32 qualifiers.

- Since 2000, the Steelers (226) and Ravens (210) rank second and fifth respectively in total victories (regular season and playoffs). The teams have combined to win 14 of 18 AFC North titles all-time, and, in 19 of the past 20 seasons, at least one of the two teams reached the postseason.

- After throwing one interception in the first five games of 2020, Ben Roethlisberger was picked off three times in last Sunday's victory at the Tennessee Titans. Including the postseason, Roethlisberger is 15-10 in his career against the Ravens – but only 4-6 on the road. However, he was triumphant on his past two visits to Baltimore (2017, 2018).

OTHER KEY GAMES

Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns – Sunday, 1pm

- The Browns' last-minute 37-34 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last week moved them to 5-2, giving them their best seven-game start to a season since re-joining the NFL in 1999. It is the fourth time since the merger that Cleveland has five or more wins through seven games (1977, 1993, 1994).

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers – Sunday, 1pm

- Rodgers had four touchdown passes and no interceptions in a 35-20 win against the Houston Texans last time out. His 17 TD passes this year matches a career high through six games of a season, along with his 2011 MVP campaign

New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs – Sunday, 1pm

- Kelce has 6,966 receiving yards in 103 career games. If he gets to 7,000 on Sunday, he would be the second-fastest tight end in NFL history to reach that mark, behind only Rob Gronkowski (100).

New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears – Sunday, 4.25pm

- The Saints beat the Carolina Panthers 27-24 at home last week. Each of their past three games has resulted in a win by six points or fewer, just the third time they have ever had such a streak (three games across the 1990 and 1991 seasons; four games in 1988).

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks – Sunday, 4.25pm

- The Niners are averaging 7.0 yards per carry when rushing to the right (483 yards on 69 attempts), more than any team in any direction this season. They have a combined 479 yards on 122 carries to the left and up the middle

ELSEWHERE…

Los Angeles Rams at Miami Dolphins – Sunday, 1pm

- Tua Tagovailoa will be making his first career start on Sunday. The fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, he is the second highest-picked Alabama quarterback of all time (Harry Gilmer went first overall in 1948), and the second-highest QB ever selected by the Dolphins (Bob Griese went fourth overall in 1967).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants – Monday, 8.15pm

- With a 45-20 win over the Raiders last week, Tampa Bay have now had back-to-back wins of at least 25 points for the first time in franchise history (defeated Green Bay by 28 in Week 6). The Bucs had just two such wins over the previous seven seasons combined.

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