Statistical Look At Steelers’ Pass Rush Using 5 Or More Players

If you listened to the Friday edition of The Terrible Podcast, you heard Alex Kozora and I discuss the Pittsburgh Steelers defense as it relates to how many times they’ve rushed the opposite quarterback on passing plays with 5 or more players. To follow up on that discussion, I thought I would show when exactly those five-man rushes have taken place, per our defensive game charting project.

Now, before you dive into the table data below, I want to let you know that we don’t chart the number of rushers on quick pass attempts. In other words, mostly quick screens or slants. we also don’t currently chart run blitzes and the data below is for quarterback dropbacks only.

Most of the table headers should be easy to decipher. TDB is the total number of dropbacks that took place on that down and distance so far this season

As you can see in the table below, of the 46 total times that the Steelers defense has sent 5 or more players after opposing quarterbacks on dropbacks that did not include a quick pass, 21 of them came on 1st and 10 plays.

While we don’t have any data from other teams in the league to compare it to, Alex and I both found it astonishing that Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler has only sent 5 or more pass rushers just 11.8% on 3rd down passing plays with 6 or more yards to go. With that said, the Steelers defense failed to yield a first down 72.5% of the time on those 51 total plays.

One other thing that I’d like to point out to you is the fact that only 3 sacks have been registered the Steelers defense so far this season when they have sent 5 or more pass rushers. All three of those happened on 1st and 10 plays. Additionally, 6 of the Steelers 8 total sacks so far this season have come on 1st and 10 plays. Their other two came on a 2nd and 10 play and a 3rd and 19 play.

1st & 10 106 21 19.8% 17 10 122 0 1 3 1
2nd & 5 or less 25 3 12.0% 3 2 18 1 0 0 0
2nd & 6 or more 70 10 14.3% 10 6 87 1 0 0 0
3rd & 5 or less 26 6 23.1% 6 2 25 0 0 0 0
3rd & 6 or more 51 6 11.8% 6 3 27 0 0 0 0
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