Steelers Divisional Round Offensive Charting Notes

Another game, another win. Another statistical breakdown of their offensive performance through scheme and execution. The Pittsburgh Steelers struggled mightily inside the 25-yard line on Sunday against the Chiefs, but they had no problem moving the ball between the 20s. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

  • Personnel formations:
    • 11: 57/67 (85.1%)
    • 21: 4/67 (6.0%)
    • 22: 3/67 (4.5%)
    • V-32: 3/67 (4.5%)
  • So…there’s one pretty obvious thing to notice here, and it’s an important one, so I’m going to talk about it in a later article today because it deserves its own individual treatment. The Steelers almost exclusively stayed in their 11 personnel against the Chiefs. Why?
  • Well, my guess is that they wanted to keep Kansas City in their nickel defense, which they were able to do for most of the game. They were able to run against it awfully successfully, as if that were not already obvious.
  • But to put some numbers to this, they only faced eight or nine defenders in the box for a total of seven meaningful plays over the course of the entire game, two of which came inside the Chiefs’ 10-yard line, and another two of which came inside their own 15. They also faced seven in the box 12 times.
  • Wide receiver Eli Rogers played 56 snaps, and all but one of the Steelers’ snaps out of the 11 personnel. The only snap from that formation that he did not take was the final play of the first half, which was set up to be a Hail Mary initially. Sammie Coates replaced him on that play for his lone snap of the game.
  • Once again, the Steelers mixed and matched with their third receiver, though Cobi Hamilton saw the most snaps. Darrius Heyward-Bey was not too far behind, but Demarcus Ayers still saw a dozen snaps.
  • Here’s an interesting note. Whenever the Steelers moved away from the three-receiver set, they took Jesse James off the field and replaced him with David Johnson. Obviously they like him better for the straight-ahead blocking assignments.
  • On one snap, the Steelers used Le’Veon Bell and Roosevelt Nix both lined up on either side of the quarterback—on a pass to Bell that lost three yards. Not sure what that was all about, but it was the first time this year they’ve done that.
  • Something the note, I think this is the most the Steelers have used the no-huddle all year, on 27 plays. Almost all of that came in the first half.
  • Play-action was used four times, often for the RPO, and it resulted in three completions for 27 yards. The incompletion was the result of a bad throw.
  • The Chiefs blitzed twice. One of them resulted in a 52-yarder. Good idea to stop blitzing.
  • Average depth of target – 8.4
    • Antonio Brown – 13.2 (11 targets)
    • Cobi Hamilton – -0.5 (2 targets)
    • Eli Rogers – 7.9 (7 targets)
    • Demarcus Ayers – -1 (1 target)
    • Jesse James – 14 (6 targets)
    • Le’Veon Bell – 4 (4 targets)
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