2018 Week 10 Offensive Charting Notes

The Pittsburgh Steelers had one of their very best offensive days in the franchise’s history last Thursday in a blowout of the Carolina Panthers by a score of 52-21, the most points they had scored in a game since 1984, and one of the top scores ever in their history. And it didn’t take them many plays to do it. They only ran 58 plays despite holding a slight advantage in time of possession. So let’s dig a little deeper into the details of that offensive performance.

  • Personnel groupings
    • 01: 7/58 (12.1%)
    • 11: 36/58 (62.1%)
    • 12: 4/58 (6.9%)
    • 13: 4/58 (6.9%)
    • 22: 6/58 (10.3%)
    • V-32: 1/58 (1.7%)
  • As you can see, even in a game in which the Steelers had an extended lead (they led by at least a touchdown for about 55 minutes, and had only run one offensive play without such a lead), they still favored, somewhat heavily, three- and four-receiver sets, nearly 75 percent of the time. This is clearly an extension of a recent theme, during which they have learned that they can still run the ball effectively from these looks.
  • I just want to note at this point that Randy Fichtner has appeared to date to have completely dropped the 21 personnel package from the team’s repertoire. They have not once all season run a play in which the fullback was not accompanied by at least two tight ends.
  • It’s also interesting to see that the 01 package is still alive and well, being run on more than one in 10 plays on Sunday. I had expected this to have a short shelf life as it did last season, but it appears to have become a legitimate arrow in their quiver, even if not a favorite.
  • The Steelers averaged 4.25 yards per rush with three or more receivers on the field, including a 13-yard end-around by JuJu Smith-Schuster. James Conner specifically averaged 4.33 yards per carry on 12 attempts from the 11 personnel package. The late-game running with Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley during which they were just attempting to close out the game obviously hurt the efficiency numbers.
  • The Steelers used play action on three of 30 dropbacks, resulting in two completions for eight yards, one of which went for a loss of a yard. Not incredibly exciting, but it did lead to Darrius Heyward-Bey’s first touch of the season.
  • The Panthers blitzed on eight of 30 plays, or 26.7 percent of the time. the Steelers averaged 9.63 yards per play on these snaps with two of Ben Roethlisberger’s three incompletions, including the one on third down. This also includes Roethlisberger’s 25-yard scramble, so he averaged 7.4 yards per play when he put the ball in the air.
  • Average depth of target: 4.5 (27 targets) [5.16 for Roethlisberger only]
    • Vance McDonald: 4.5 (4 targets)
    • Darrius HeywardBey: -1 (1 target)
    • Antonio Brown: 9.83 (6 targets)
    • Jesse James: 2 (1 target)
    • Roosevelt Nix: -1 (2 targets)
    • Jaylen Samuels: -3.75 (4 targets)
    • James Conner: 0 (1 target)
    • Stevan Ridley: 3 (1 target)
    • JuJu SmithSchuster: 9 (5 targets)
    • Ryan Switzer: 6 (2 targets)
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