It’s that time of the week again. Time for a walk through the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive showing from the previous week, through the lens of charting data. I realize that this is not always everybody’s cup of tea, but I do think that there are interesting things to observe here on a weekly basis, so let’s get to it, starting as always with personnel packages.
- Personnel groupings:
- 01: 2/78 (2.6%)
- 11: 58/78 (74.4%)
- 12: 6/78 (7.7%)
- 13: 1/78 (1.3%)
- 21: 1/78 (1.3%)
- 22: 8/78 (10.3%)
- V-32: 2/78 (2.6%)
- So….as you can see, they really, really liked the 11 personnel grouping this week, which is certainly not out of the ordinary, but nearly three quarters of the time is an exceptionally high number, generally speaking and for the Steelers.
- If you include the four-receivers sets as well, then it’s overwhelmingly clear that that is the offense’s early focus this year. 107 of 139 plays through the first two weeks have featured at least three wide receivers, or just a hair under 77 percent. Crazy.
- Of course, tight end injuries played a role in that, with Vance McDonald not even dressing and Jesse James dinging his ankle, and yet he still played 75 of 78 snaps. Chris Hubbard being needed to play tackle didn’t help either.
- Running back Le’Veon Bell also saw a much bigger workload this week. Removing the two victory formation plays, he was on the field for 71 of 76 offensive plays, or better than 93 percent.
- What was also interesting was the drop in Martavis Bryant’s workload, as he only played 64 percent of the snaps. That left Eli Rogers and JuJu Smith-Schuster to each see around 40 snaps.
- Speaking of Smith-Schuster, as I highlighted earlier today, they really moved him around. He was used in the backfield once and as a tight end three times. They also asked him to pull on three occasions and set him in pre-snap motion twice.
- The Steelers got their linemen moving more this week, with David DeCastro pulling three times, Ramon Foster six times, and all three tackles at least one time.
- I can’t be certain because I didn’t track it last year, but it seems the Steelers are leaving Le’Veon Bell in to pass protect more, doing so on 11 plays Sunday.
- The Steelers used play action way more than they usually do Sunday, 10 times on 41 dropbacks for nearly 25 percent. Unfortunately it wasn’t very effective.
- They also used the no huddle a lot more than they did in the opener, noted on 19 snaps, about a fifth of the time.
- Bryant saw six snaps out of the slot, Brown five. Smith-Schuster took 16 snaps there, while Rogers had 36—all but three of his snaps.
- Average depth of target – 12.4
- Xavier Grimble – 5 (1 target, 0 official)
- Antonio Brown – 18.7 (13 targets; 11 official)
- Jesse James – 4 (5 targets)
- Le’Veon Bell – -3 (4 targets)
- JuJu Smith-Schuster – -.3 (4 targets)
- Eli Rogers – 9.3 (7 targets)
- Martavis Bryant – 33 (5 targets; 4 official)