Through the first two preseason games the Pittsburgh Steelers have run the ball 58.6% of the time and immediately fans jump to the conclusion that this is the type of run heavy play calling balance that we will see once the regular season begins.
The first thing to keep in mind is that Todd Haley more than likely could care less about run/pass balance during the preseason. The goal is to look at several players in different situations and with several young running backs on the roster coupled with two rookie offensive linemen, it is not too surprising that a running back or fullback has touched the 66 times on 128 offensive plays, which by the way equates to 51.6% of all offensive plays run thus far. 8 of the other 9 rushes were quarterback runs or scrambles and the lone remaining run was an end around by Marquis Maze. There is the balance that everyone so desires. Just twist the stats and don\’t ignore facts.
A few other stats that should not have you running for the bridges are the 3.69 yards per rush through two games and the 4.64 yards per play number. In case you are wondering, that ranks the Steelers 16th and 20th in the league thus far in the preseason. The league average for both of those stats thus far is 3.92 and 4.81.
If you want another preseason stat to not freak out about, you need not look any farther that the Steelers Red Zone and Goal to Go percentages. The Steelers rank 31st and 30th respectively right now with 16.7 and 25.0 percentages in those two stats.
In short, stats during the preseason don\’t mean much of anything. It is an evaluation period and should be treated as such. Stop caring so much about them and start paying attention to individual performances. That is what matters the most.