Steelers 2017 Week 17 Offensive Charting Notes

The Pittsburgh Steelers have played their final game of the regular season, holding off the Cleveland Browns, who literally dropped the ball at the end. The Browns started off 2017 losing to Landry Jones on January 1, New Year’s Day, and ended it in the next season losing to Jones again, on December 31, New Year’s Eve. That was, for them, a span of 17 consecutive losses.

With another game, of course, is another set of offensive charting notes, a weekly tradition that has come to be cherished intermittently by one or two people, and so, for them, the show marches forward with the Steelers’ season finale.

  • Personnel groupings:
    • 11: 31/60 (51.7%)
    • 12: 3/60 (5%)
    • 13: 8/60 (13.3%)
    • 21: 1/60 (1/7%)
    • 22: 12/60 (20%)
    • 23: 3/60 (5%)
    • V-32: 1/60 (1/7%)
    • N/A: 1/60 (1/7%)
  • This was the most diverse grouping of personnel packages that the Steelers have used all season, with few stones left unturned. One of the few, which they began the season with, that didn’t make an appearance was four-receiver sets. I’m still baffled as to why they talked up using it at the beginning of the year only to basically never use it after a few games.
  • This was by far the most substantial usage of the 13 package all season. It has been run 25 times all year, with about a third coming on Sunday. I actually shouldn’t say by far—they used it seven times against the Ravens the first time around. But other than that, yeah.
  • The Browns blitzed frequently, 12 times in all, though that has to be qualified by noting that some of those coincide with bad snaps, which may have brought on a blitz that otherwise would not have come. Those blitzes were largely successful, and included yielding four failed completions, including three on third down.
  • With Landry Jones at quarterback, the Steelers used play action more, on seven of 33 dropbacks. It worked out exceedingly well, with one sack and six completions with a touchdown, averaging 14.2 yards per attempt and 11.3 yards per play. that included two explosive plays to JuJu Smith-Schuster.
  • When the offense wanted to run out of the no-huddle, they used Fitzgerald Toussaint. Not exactly a surprise, given that Stevan Ridley had been in-house less than two weeks.
  • By my measure, the Steelers pulled Matt Feiler nine times throughout the game, sometimes as window dressing. Four of those pulls yielded runs of 15 or more yards, including three of 20-plus. One of those was the Darrius Heyward-Bey touchdown, though, on which he was a decoy to set up the reverse.
  • Average depth of target – 8.1 (28 targets; 27 official)
    • Vance McDonald – 6.5 (2 targets)
    • Xavier Grimble – 1 (1 target)
    • Jesse James – 3 (2 targets)
    • Roosevelt Nix – 2 (1 target)
    • Fitzgerald Toussaint – -2.7 (3 targets)
    • JuJu Smith-Schuster – 12.5 (10 targets)
    • Eli Rogers – 4.5 (2 targets; 1 official)
    • Martavis Bryant – 11.1 (7 targets)
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