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Week One Steelers’ Defensive Charting Notes

Won’t do this every week but with the regular season upon us, wanted to roll through some of the notables of the defensive charting we do each week. We’ll revisit this roughly every month or so and see what trends emerge.

We are basing this off 55 full plays from Week One, not including any that were designated as “no play” because of penalty. We will continue that throughout the year, likely making our numbers slightly lower than the actual ones listed elsewhere. Unless you guys want to use a different set of criteria. Let me know.

– Washington ran 27 plays in Steelers’ territory Monday night. But only 12 of those came in the second half.

– Division of personnel:

Nickel: 36/55 (65.5%)
3-4: 10/55 (18.2%)
Dime: 9/55 (16.4%)

This is because the Steelers match up based on personnel and Washington was in 11 personnel (3 WRs) 45 times.

– Only once did Keith Butler send a five man rush and never sent more than that. It’s the fire zone we broke down yesterday morning, resulting in an incompletion in the end zone, tipped away by Ryan Shazier.

That means he rushed five guys 2.3% of the time. His lowest mark in any game last season? 16.3%.

He sent four rushes 31 times and three defenders 8 times.

– Excluding the final 4th quarter drive, with the game over, Butler blitzed just eight times and only three times during the first three quarters. Even including the final drive (3 blitzes – 11 for the game), he blitzed just 25%. If you exclude that last series, the number drops to 21%.

Using that 21% as our guide and comparing it to last year, it would make the third least aggressive game he’s called.

– On average, the Steelers allowed 4.8 yards after the catch per completion.

– The only player I have targeted more than once Monday is Shazier. Against him, Kirk Cousins went 0/2 with an interception.

Javon Hargrave saw only six snaps as a nickel rusher. Four of those came in the final drive. He saw only seven snaps as a base nose. Just one of those was a run play, a gain of five yards.

Stephon Tuitt played 34 straight defensive snaps before being subbed off. Cam Heyward went 22 in a row. Tuitt missed just two more snaps the rest of the way, excluding the games final drive. Heyward missed three.

Daniel McCullers did not play his first snap until the Steelers’ 33rd play with 9:33 remaining in the third quarter.

– Shazier lined up at OLB nine times. He dropped into coverage all nine times.

– Other LB drop percentages:

Anthony Chickillo – 35.7% (5/14)
Arthur Moats – 31.8% (7/22)
James Harrison – 31.8% (7/22)
Jarvis Jones – 30% (9/30)

– Breakdown of where William Gay lined up (out of 55 snaps).

Right corner: 43
Slot corner: 9
Left corner: 3

All nine of those in the slot occurred when the Steelers came in dime, putting Artie Burns at RCB and kicking Gay inside.

– In all dime looks, Sean Davis moved to traditional safety while Robert Golden played in the box as the dime defender/faux linebacker.

– Excluding those dime snaps, Golden was in the box 7 times. Mike Mitchell lined up there once.

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