Week 5 Offensive Charting Notes

It’s time for more charting notes, this time taken from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive output on Sunday against the Jets in their 31-13 victory. It was not a universal success, but it was still an all-around strong performance from the group, and hopefully the data below helps shed some light on how they produced that effort.

  • As usual, we start with the personnel groupings:
    • 11: 58/76 (76.3%)
    • 12: 1/76 (1.3%)
    • 13: 2/76 (2.6%)
    • 21: 7/76 (9.2%)
    • 22: 5/76 (6.6%)
    • 31: 1/76 (1.3%)
    • V-32: 2/76 (2.6%)
  • The usage of three-receiver sets was surprisingly high considering the injuries at the position, and it should also be noted that Le’Veon Bell was still listed as a running back even when lined up on the line of scrimmage. Of course, this is partially explained by the fact that they trailed for a time, and the game was fairly close into the second half.
  • Both Sammie Coates and Markus Wheaton played a substantial amount this week (45-plus snaps apiece), with Coates predominantly seeing snaps outside and Wheaton getting a large percentage of his playing time out of the slot.
  • Darrius Heyward-Bey also played a considerable amount (over 30 snaps), though over 40 percent of his snaps came on running downs.
  • David Johnson saw 11 snaps in the game, and six of them came at the fullback position, the first time he has played more in the backfield than on the line. The Steelers picked up 11 yards on four carries. It will be interesting to see how Roosevelt Nix is used if he is back this week.
  • Of DeAngelo Williams’ 11 snaps, eight featured Bell on the field, as a receiver for all eight plays. Williams also was a receiver on one of them. A full seven of those plays were passes.
  • The passing game did not make much use of play-action, not much of a surprise on a day on which it was hard to run the ball. On four play-action passes, Ben Roethlisberger completed three for 21 yards.
  • The Jets also blitzed sparsely but effectively. On 10 blitzes, Roethlisberger completed only four passes for 28 yards, though one converted a third-and-five, one of only two third-down blitzes of the game.
  • The no-huddle continues to be a relatively infrequent presence in the offense, utilized for just 13 snaps, under 20 percent of the time. But they have clearly shown that they don’t need it to be effective.
  • First-year tight end Xavier Grimble saw 13 snaps. I can’t help but find it interesting that he has only been the outside tight end with Jesse James on the same side of the field twice so far this season, and he was targeted on both occasions.
  • It is also interesting to note he was the lone tight end on a 3×1 play, with three wide receivers on the opposite side of the field, isolating Grimble. He caught an 11-yard pass on that play.
  • Wrapping it up with average distances per target.
    • Team: 6.8
    • Antonio Brown: 7.25 (12 targets)
    • Sammie Coates: 14.8 (11 targets)
    • Markus Wheaton: 125 (4 targets)
    • Le’Veon Bell: .9 (12 targets)
    • DeAngelo Williams: -3 (1 target)
    • Jesse James: 3.3 (9 targets)
    • Xavier Grimble: 5 (2 targets)
  • Bonus: the Steelers averaged 5.7 yards after the catch, including 10 plays on which they produced double-digit yards after the catch. Yet only one of them produced an explosive play.
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