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2018 Week 1 Offensive Charting Notes

With the regular season underway, it’s time to dig back into our charting notes. The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a tie—odd, yes. Also odd was their ability to turn the ball over six times in the same game. And having two touchdowns negated in a row before scoring on the third chance. But I digress.

  • Personnel groupings:
    • 01: 7/85 (8.2%)
    • 11: 56/85 (65.9%)
    • 12: 1/85 (1.2%)
    • 13: 3/85 (3.5%)
    • 22: 17/85 (8.2%)
    • V-32: 1/85 (1.2%)
  • As you can clearly see, the Steelers made very extensive use of three- and four-receiver sets in spite of the fact that they held a lead for most of the game, but they did break out the heavier sets late.
  • Technically speaking, rookie tackle Chukwuma Okorafor started the game. The Steelers opened the game out of a three-tight end grouping with him as a tackle-eligible along with Jesse James and Xavier Grimble on the field.
  • In fact, Okorafor logged a total of 17 snaps in the game, which came in a mixture of 13 and (primarily) 22 personnel groupings. The latter is a look that they have turned to frequently in run situations over the past three seasons, utilizing a tackle-eligible as one of the two tight ends.
  • The Steelers did run 13 personnel play with Roosevelt Nix lined up as a tight end. James also lined up in the backfield twice, both times coming from a four-receiver set. Ryan Switzer lined up in the backfield twice during the team’s seven 01 personnel snaps.
  • In his first full season, JuJu Smith-Schuster played 64 snaps in the opener. Only six of them came from the outside, the rest of them out of the slot.
  • It’s interesting that the Steelers barely made use of 12 personnel at all, which is two receivers, two tight ends, and a running back. They literally used this on just a single play. Under normal circumstances, it’s often their second-most common grouping.
  • Of Grimble’s 22 snaps in the game, only seven of them were paired with James, in spite of the fact that none came in a grouping with one tight end. Instead, he was usually paired with Okorafor.
  • The Steelers used play action on eight of 50 dropbacks during the game, or 16 percent of the time, in the first game under Randy Fichtner. This is a pretty sizable uptick from the average last season, but the sample size is too small to draw conclusions.
  • The Browns blitzed nearly 40 percent of the time, netting three sacks and an interception out of it. Not to mention two forced fumbles on those three sacks. The Steelers had seven positive plays against 19 blitzes.
  • Average depth of target: 7.91
    • Antonio Brown: 9.65 (17 targets; 16 official)
    • Jesse James: 12 (4 targets)
    • James Conner: -1 (6 targets)
    • JuJu SmithSchuster: 5.1 (8 targets)
    • Justin Hunter: 12.4 (7 targets; 6 official)
    • Ryan Switzer: 2 (1 target)
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