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2018 Week 13 Offensive Charting Notes

It’s a new week, but the same circumstances, covering the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive charting date following a loss. It’s only two weeks in a row, but it’s becoming a bit too familiar, so hopefully that changes in my next column on this topic a week from now.

  • Personnel groupings:
    • 01: 2/68 (2.9%)
    • 11: 51/68 (75%)
    • 12: 7/68 (10.3%)
    • 13: 5/68 (7.4%)
    • 22: 2/68 (2.9%)
    • 23: 1/68 (1.5%)
  • No surprise that the 11 personnel package was easily the prevailing look on Sunday. Spending over 75 percent of the time with three or more receivers on the field, this is becoming the norm in recent weeks, and really started in earnest after they found they could run the ball from it.
  • The Steelers have been experimenting with this three tight end package lately for some reason and trying to throw out of it. In fairness, they threw it twice out of the look on Sunday on second and medium or long and came up with first-down yardage both times. On every one of those snaps, Xavier Grimble was lined up as a receiver rather than a tight end. The other tight ends were lined up on receivers on the two passes as well, so they were not selling a run look at all.
  • This is something I’ve already mentioned once or twice this week, but I find it rather interesting, even peculiar, that the Steelers opened the game with Justin Hunter and not Ryan Switzer as their number three receiver. Hunter played 18 snaps to Switzer’s two by the time of the former’s injury. Why, when he normally doesn’t even dress?
  • Another fact that I’ve spent some time pointing out this week is that Jaylen Samuels wasn’t just playing because James Conner was injured. Conner’s injury game on the third to last offensive play of the game, but Samuels played 17 total snaps on offense. He was being used as a rotational or specialist option throughout the game. That fact can get lost in the aftermath so it’s worth reminding.
  • The Steelers had exactly 50 dropbacks this week and Ben Roethlisberger used play action on five of them, so that’s an easy math problem there at 10 percent usage for the week. Remains at the lowest in the league. More concerning is that they hardly do anything with it. He did at least complete a 15-yard pass to Antonio Brown, but they don’t go after the long ball off play action much at all.
  • Like the Jaguars and Broncos, the Chargers didn’t blitz much. They did so just four times and it was a bad idea every time. The Steelers’ worst play on those four was a six-yard completion on first and 10. One was Brown’s touchdown, another drew a long pass interference in the end zone.
  • Average depth of target: 8.57 (49 targets)
    • Vance McDonald: 6 (7 targets)
    • Darrius HeywardBey: 26 (1 target)
    • Antonio Brown: 15.62 (13 targets)
    • Jesse James: 5.67 (3 targets)
    • Jaylen Samuels: -1 (3 targets)
    • James Conner: -3.2 (4 targets)
    • JuJu SmithSchuster: 5.2 (10 targets)
    • Justin Hunter: 22 (3 targets)
    • Ryan Switzer: 8.25 (4 targets)
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