2018 First Half Offensive Charting Notes

The Pittsburgh Steelers are actually a little more than halfway through the 2018 regular season by now, but because of the short week between their eight and ninth games, it was too difficult to squeeze in much season-to-date work, which we will be getting to over the next couple of days. Today, I’m presenting the Steelers’ offensive charting notes through games one through eight (noting that it doesn’t include the Carolina Panthers game).

  • Personnel groupings:
    • 01: 45/588 (7.7%)
    • 11: 391/588 (66.5%)
    • 12: 59/588 (10.0%)
    • 13: 21/588 (3.6%)
    • 22: 55/588 (9.4%)
    • 23: 9/588 (1.5%)
    • V-32: 8/588 (1.4%)
  • I don’t know why I find it so fascinating that the Steelers have continued to make use of the 01 personnel package, but I do. And spoiler alert, they used it on seven of 58 snaps against the Panthers (12.1%) so it’s not going away. I like it.
  • Including the 01 and 11 personnel packages, the Steelers have spent almost 75 percent of their offensive snaps with three or more receivers on the field. That is probably not among the very highest in the league, but that’s certainly high for them.
  • Which is a bit surprising, given that they have had a pretty stable presence this season with Jesse James and Vance McDonald together, both of whom have been effective contributors in the blocking department. The two have only been on the field together for 69 snaps this year, and that includes victory formation.
  • Running back James Conner has seen 57 snaps so far this season lined up at wide receiver out of 318 snaps on designed pass plays. That’s nearly 18 percent of the time.
  • Ramon Foster and Alejandro Villanueva are the only players that have taken every snap this year.
  • Wide receiver Antonio Brown averaged just over nine snaps per game from out of the slot during the first half of the season. The Steelers averaged 6.2 yards per play on those snaps. Brown was targeted 23 times on those snaps, producing 5.4 yards per target, including three touchdowns and two interceptions.
  • Here’s a shocker for you: the Steelers only used play action 47 times on 389 dropbacks. That’s just 12.1 percent. But they average 10.3 yards per play when they use it, though they’ve only had two pass attempts with 20 or more air yards (and one of them somehow only gained 19. It’s yielded two touchdowns and an interception.
  • Ben Roethlisberger has faced a blitz on 103 of 389 dropbacks, or 26.5 percent of the time. It’s only led to four sacks, and the team has averaged 7.5 yards per play against blitzes including four touchdowns, but also two interceptions and two fumbles from the quarterback.
  • Average depth of target: 8.2 (366 targets)
    • Vance McDonald: 5.6 (35 targets)
    • Xavier Grimble: 5 (4 targets)
    • Antonio Brown: 10.6 (97 targets)
    • Jesse James: 9.3 (31 targets)
    • Roosevelt Nix: 5.5 (2 targets)
    • James Conner: -.1 (52 targets)
    • Stevan Ridley: 2 (3 targets)
    • JuJu SmithSchuster: 9.6 (82 targets)
    • James Washington: 15.9 (21 targets)
    • Justin Hunter: 15.8 (12 targets)
    • Ryan Switzer: 2.8 (20 targets)
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