2018 Week 16 Offensive Charting Notes

Last week was a nice respite, getting the opportunity to write about something other than a loss, but we find ourselves back in familiar territory heading into the season finale after the Pittsburgh Steelers blew yet another late lead, this time against the New Orleans Saints. Once again, it was paired with a failed comeback attempt, seeing JuJu Smith-Schuster uncharacteristically fumble.

  • Personnel groupings:
    • 00: 15/76 (19.7%)
    • 02: 1/76 (1.3%)
    • 11: 53/76 (69.7%)
    • 12: 2/76 (2.6%)
    • 22: 2/76 (2.6%)
    • 23: 2/76 (2.6%)
    • V-32: 1/76 (1.3%)
  • As you can see, the five-receiver set was once again used prominently for the second week in a row, though not quite as much. 20 percent is certainly still quite heavy usage for that look, especially considering that they have used it for about one snap in the past half-decade prior to last week.
  • Interestingly, it has seemingly replaced the four-receiver set in which they used Vance McDonald, yet they also introduced a new look that I don’t believe they’ve ever run since I’ve been charting the games over the past few years, and that was a 02 set with three receivers and two tight ends with no running back. That can’t be a very common package. It produced a six-yard gain on second and 10, if you’re wondering.
  • The Steelers had three or more receivers on the field damn near 90 percent of the time. That will have a lot to do with James Conner not being available, but still, that’s a pretty significant amount, even for a team that throws the ball as much as Pittsburgh does when you have pass catchers at the other skill positions as well.
  • The Steelers ran 76 plays on offense, in total, and Jaylen Samuels played 55 of them. The Steelers ran 17 plays out of 00 personnel last week. This is how they’ve given him some time off without using Stevan Ridley
  • Rookie James Washington didn’t fit into the gameplan as much this week, and he certainly didn’t have much of an impact. He saw the fewest snaps of the top five receivers, with Eli Rogers seeing more than both Washington and Ryan Switzer. Rogers has become their number three receiver, not that that should be a surprise considering he’s held that role before.
  • Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger attempted play action four times, throwing two completions. One went for three yards, the other 23. One of the incompletions was a throwaway.
  • The Saints liked to blitz, doing so 20 times against Roethlisberger, but it wasn’t particularly successful. They blitzed six times on third down and it only stopped them once, that being the great play to tackle Antonio Brown for a loss on third and one. They did produce two sacks, one of which killed a drive.
  • Average depth of target: 9.6 (53 targets)
    • Vance McDonald: 14 (5 targets)
    • Xavier Grimble: 3 (1 target)
    • Antonio Brown: 11.9 (19 targets)
    • Roosevelt Nix: 2 (1 target)
    • Jaylen Samuels: -.67 (3 targets)
    • JuJu SmithSchuster: 8.2 (18 targets)
    • Eli Rogers: 2 (1 target)
    • James Washington: 35 (2 targets)
    • Ryan Switzer: -3.3 (3 targets)
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