The Pittsburgh Steelers finally got on track in Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens as the team’s offense rushed for 171 net yards on 40 total carries by their running backs. While running backs Le’Veon Bell and James Conner both get a lot of credit for the big ground day had Sunday by the Steelers offense, it’s important not to forget about the blocking by the offensive linemen, tight ends and fullback as playing a huge part in those rushing stats and especially when the team had at least one of their big boys on the move.
On 20 of the 40 total rushing attempts by Steelers running backs on Sunday against the Ravens the offense had at least one offensive lineman on the move for 20 of them. Those 20 plays resulted in 122 of 171 rushing yards for the Steelers running backs and 13 of the 20 are regarded as being successful runs.
Steelers right guard David DeCastro was on the move during 12 of those 20 plays that included him either pulling via the counter to his left, or part of a pin and pull to his right. Those 12 plays resulted in 89 yards rushing.
DeCastro was especially great on counter pulls to his left against the Ravens and you can see as much in the clip below in which Conner gained 23 yards on. As you can see, fullback Roosevelt Nix and tight ends Vance McDonald and B.J. Finney also did their jobs on the play as well. That hole might have been the biggest we’ve seen thus far this season.
3 of those 12 pulls by DeCastro also included center Maurkice Pouncey being on the move with him and they resulted in 30 yards gained with longs of 16 and 17 yards.
Steelers left guard Ramon Foster was also on the move on Sunday against the Ravens. In total, Foster pulled to his right six times and 24 yards were gained on those plays. 4 of those 6 runs were successful as well with one being a short touchdown run by Bell.
Steelers right tackle Chris Hubbard was on the move to his side twice against the Ravens and those two plays netted 9 yards with a long of 7.
It will now be interesting to see if the Steelers continue their heavy pulling of their offensive linemen moving forward into the season as they really had a lot of success doing just that against the Ravens.
Later this week you can expect a Film Room post by Matthew Marczi featuring the play of DeCastro on Sunday.