2018 Week 17 Offensive Charting Notes

The Pittsburgh Steelers have played their last game of the 2018 season, unfortunately, and all we’re left to do now is the autopsy, first of that final game of the season, and then for the season as a whole, in trying to figure out why it went so wrong—not that we don’t know the bullet points. Horrible turnover differential, fourth-quarter collapses, a kicker with the yips, officiating issues…lots of ingredients in this humble pie. And that includes a sad 16-13 win over a decimated Cincinnati Bengals team.

  • Personnel groupings:
    • 00: 3/70 (4.3%)
    • 01: 1/70 (1.4%)
    • 02: 1/70 (1.4%)
    • 10: 1/70 (1.4%)
    • 11: 55/70 (78.6%)
    • 12: 2/70 (2.9%)
    • 13: 2/70 (2.9%)
    • 22: 3/70 (4.2%)
    • V-32: 2/70 (2.9%)
  • For some reason Randy Fichtner recently broke out the 02 personnel set featuring two tight ends and no running back, something I can’t recall specifically ever seeing the Steelers run before, at least in recent memory. So of course he did it again. Jesse James lined up in the sidecar.
  • And for the finale he whipped out the 10 personnel look, something they hadn’t run all year, perhaps the past two years or even maybe three years. I recall them running it late in Heath Miller’s final season when there were injuries and that’s about it. Just some random housekeeping on the groupings.
  • No surprise, but another game dominated by three-receiver sets, even with Antonio Brown James Washington also left the game for most of the final drive. Eli Rogers played outside for much of that time, Darrius Heyward-Bey also getting some work.
  • Despite a mixture of run-heavy looks, Chukwuma Okorafor didn’t get any work. In fact, his workload died down toward the end of the year and I’m not really sure why.
  • At the running back position, James Conner and Jaylen Samuels got very nearly the same amount of snaps. Samuels was the favorite on passing plays, Conner preferred on running plays. Of course that’s not a preview of next season. Conner was just returning from three weeks off due to a high ankle sprain.
  • Given the amount of playing time Eli Rogers got in the final few weeks, it would be surprising if they don’t re-sign/retain him depending on whether or not his contract tolls. He clearly stepped into that number three receiver role.
  • I find it very interesting that the Steelers continued to rotate Xavier Grimble all year, even using him in one-tight end looks. He got 11 meaningful snaps in the finale, five from 11 personnel. They targeted him for a big fourth-down conversion, the same play he fumbled at the goal line with.
  • At this point talking about play action is more like a running gag than anything. Four snaps on Sunday, three completions for 29 yards and a touchdown.
  • The Bengals blitzed nine times, getting one sack. They completed six of eight passes against it for 57 yards though. Five six blitzes came on third down, three were converted.
  • Average depth of target: 5.7
    • Vance McDonald: 4 (6 targets)
    • Xavier Grimble: 3 (1 target)
    • Jesse James: 16 (1 target)
    • Roosevelt Nix: -2 (1 target)
    • Jaylen Samuels: -.1 (8 targets)
    • James Conner: 2.3 (4 targets)
    • JuJu SmithSchuster: 9.6 (10 targets)
    • Eli Rogers: 5.4 (9 targets)
    • James Washington: 16.7 (3 targets)
    • Ryan Switzer: 5.7 (3 targets)
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