The Los Angeles Lakers and Pittsburgh Steelers have one thing in common on the surface. Both teams are iconic franchises in their respective sports, but if you ask Lakers star LeBron James, the 2023 versions of both teams have something in common. After the Lakers’ 120-101 loss to the Orlando Magic, the 3-3 Lakers came out with another unorthodox game with the same problems piling up. Somehow, they have clawed to three wins. Does that sound familiar? The 5-3 Steelers have something like that going for them, and James sees it.
“We’re like the Pittsburgh Steelers right now,” James said. The Steelers have not outgained or outscored any of their opponents. in this season, and yet they have a winning record. I think I might be their lucky charm because every time I pick against them they win.”
For context, the Lakers have trailed by double digits in every game they have played in the season. That’s the comparison for James, and Pittsburgh’s stats that have them at 5-3 are just as stunning as that stat for the Lakers.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Steelers are the 34th team in NFL history to be out-gained by their opponent in each of their first eight games of a season. They are the first to have a winning record through those eight games.
Pittsburgh has been out-gained by 790 yards this year (2,228-3,018). Only the Denver Broncos (-830) have been out-gained by more. They’re also the only team this season to be out-gained in every game.
The 2022 Steelers were one of those 34 teams. They were the only team to finish with a winning record after Pittsburgh clawed their way to 9-8 a season ago after a 3-7 start. If you want to look for why the stat exists, look no further than the Steelers’ their+8 turnover differential, which is tied for best in the league. The Steelers are 5-1 this season when winning the turnover differential margin, while they’re 0-2 when losing it.