Steelers 2017 Week 7 Offensive Charting Notes

I think we all know that there is absolutely nothing more fun than discussing the minutiae of personnel charting of a football game. It is exciting and exhilarating work, without question.

Okay, that might not be entirely true, but there is a certain pleasure that I take out of charting the Pittsburgh Steelers’ games on the offensive side of the ball, bringing me closer to understanding the how and the whys of what I am seeing on the field on Sundays. Every week, I try to bring some of these details to light, stemming from the Steelers’ previous game.

  • Personnel groupings:
    • 11: 29/72 (40.3%)
    • 12: 20/72 (27.8%)
    • 21: 4/72 (5.6%)
    • 22: 16/72 (22.2%)
    • V-32: 3/72 (4.2%)
  • I think this probably goes without saying, but this is the first time all season that the Steelers played a game in which three-receiver sets were not the majority of snaps.
  • While they still saw about 40 percent of their snaps come from that grouping—about 14 percent coming in the two-minute offense at the end of the first half—the majority of plays came from packages featuring either a fullback or multiple tight ends, if not both.
  • Going strictly by net yardage, including plays that drew penalties—a 34-yard pass interference included—the Steelers did average nearly eight yards per play out of the 11 personnel. But they also gained 5.5 yards per play when they lined up with two tight ends and a fullback on the field.
  • The Steelers ran the ball 20 times during the game against eight or more defenders in the box. One play even had 10 players in the box. They averaged about four yards per play, most of them runs. All three pass attempts were not completed. Two were on deep targets off of play action.
  • Speaking of play action, I’ve lain this out previously in a film study, but the play-action pass was nothing short of garbage on Sunday, at least in terms of its result. On five attempts, one was complete for three yards on second and seven. I believe three of the four incompletions, however, were directly defended.
  • The Bengals didn’t blitz much—just three times—but when they did, it was on third down. They forced two incompletions, though they also got one 19-yard completion on third and eight.
  • The Steelers used Terrell Watson as the running back on one play-action pass.
  • For the second week in a row, Eli Rogers got about a dozen snaps, but at least he was targeted this week. He received two targets, catching one for 10 yards. The other pass was not catchable—I believe Ben Roethlisberger might have been hit.
  • Average depth of target – 14 (25 targets; 24 official)
    • Vance McDonald – 8 (3 targets)
    • Antonio Brown – 17.5 (12 targets; 11 official)
    • Le’Veon Bell – -1 (3 targets)
    • JuJu SmithSchuster – 16 (3 targets)
    • Eli Rogers – 8.5 (2 targets)
    • Martavis Bryant – 27 (2 targets)
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