Steelers Base 3-4 Defense Has Struggled Against Run In First 4 Games

I’ve already previewed the running game matchup of the upcoming Week 5 contest between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Jacksonville Jaguars and now I have a few more interesting stats to pass along to you from our weekly game charting.

As I mentioned in the early post, the Steelers defense has allowed 12 running back runs longer than 10 yards through four games. 11 of those runs, however, came against the Steelers base 3-4 defense personnel. In fact, including all rushes and quarterback scrambles, the Steelers 3-4 defensive personnel grouping has allowed 310 rushing yards on 57 carries, an average yards per carry of 5.44 yards. However, I would like to note that Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt was only on the field for 13 of those runs.

The Steelers nickel and dime defensive personnel groupings have played reasonably well through the first four weeks of the season. In fact, when you can combine those two personnel groupings, the defense has allowed just 146 total yards rushing on 39 total carries, or a 3.74 yards per carry average.

If you want those two groupings broken down further, the Steelers nickel personnel has allowed 109 total yards rushing on 33 caries (3.30 ypc) while their dime personnel has allowed 37 yards (6.17 ypc) on 6 total rushes.

Are you curious about run success rates? If so, I have those for you in the table below and as you can clearly see, the Steelers base defense is by far and away where most of the successful runs have been allowed through the first four games of the season.

It will now be interesting to see if the Jaguars offense attempts to use heavier personnel groupings on Sunday against the Steelers so that they can run against a 3-4 personnel grouping. With that said, and according to my research of the Jaguars offense, they haven’t run all that well out of their heavier personnel groupings through their first four games of the season. In fact, I have the Jaguars averaging just 3.38 yards per carry on 68 total 1st and 10 runs this season when not having three or more wide receivers on the field.

In closing, this will certainly be an interesting thing to watch for in Sunday’s game.

Steelers 2017 Run Defense By Personnel Grouping
* Base Nickel Dime Goal Total
Runs 57 33 6 2 98
Yards 310 109 37 2 458
YPR 5.44 3.30 6.17 1.00 4.67
Succ 25 12 1 2 40
Succ % 43.9% 36.4% 16.7% 100.0% 40.8%
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