Following Alex Kozora’s lead with the defensive charting I am here to bring you some numbers about the offense. The following data is based on our hand-done offensive charting. If there are any numbers we you’d like to see, let us know in the comments and we’ll look it up (if we track it.)
In the 2020 season the offense was on the field for 1,205 plays and average of 70.9 plays per game. The low number was 54 plays in week 8 against Baltimore. The high was 90 plays in the Wild Card game.
Here is the breakdown by offensive personnel.
|Personnel||Positions||Play %||Play Count||Run||Pass||Other|
|01||1 TE/ 4 WR||5.89%||71||1||67||3|
|10||1 RB/ 4 WR||0.17%||2||0||2|
|11||1 RB/ 1TE/ 3 WR||74.85%||902||235||646||21|
|12||1 RB/ 2 TE/ 2 WR||8.71%||105||48||55||2|
|13||1 RB/ 3 TE/ 1 WR||2.99%||36||29||6||1|
|14||1 RB/ 4 TE||0.08%||1||1|
|20||2 RB/ 3 WR||0.08%||1||1|
|21||2 RB/ 1 TE/ 2 WR||0.17%||2||1||1|
|22||2 RB/ 2 TE/ 1 WR||4.81%||58||46||12|
|23||2 RB/ 3 TE||0.41%||5||3||1||1|
|V32||3RB/ 2 TE||1.49%||18||18|
The Other column includes aborted plays, kneel downs and no plays. The V32 personnel or victory formation consists of kneel downs at the end of half or game.
Through the first 8 games they Steelers used 11 personnel 60.3% of the time so there was a significant increase over the second half. This makes sense because when they are playing from behind they go almost exclusively out of 11 personnel.
In the first 8 games the run to pass break down was 36.7% run and 59.2% pass with 4.1% of the plays falling in the other category. From game number nine to the end of the season they ran the ball 25.0% and threw the ball 72.1% with 2.8% in the other.
No Huddle – 136 snaps (11.3% of total plays) which is eight per game. There were 16 runs for 43 yards (2.69 yards per carry) and passing they were 89 of 119 for 959 yards and 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. That averages 10.7 yards per completion and there were 2 sacks.
Play Action – 79 snaps (6.6%) with 43 completions in 76 attempts (56.6%) for 354 yards which includes two sacks and 2 touchdowns, one interception and 2 sacks.
Motion – 171 plays with a player moving at the snap. There were 128 runs (74.9%) for 413 yards (3.23 yards per carry) and passing they are 25 of 39 for 92 yards (3.68 yards per reception) with one sack for minus 10 yards. There were four touchdowns, 1 interception and 5 fumbles.
Ben Roethlisberger was on the field for 1,114 plays and was in shotgun for 919 of those plays. That is in shotgun for 82.5% for the whole season up from 74.5% in the first half of the season. Mason Rudolph had 83 snaps with 63 in shotgun (75.9%).
By Down – Roethlisberger’s passing statistics by downs
Vs Blitz – He has faced a blitz on 199 plays completing 115 of 187 passes (61.5%) for 1,260 net yards and eight touchdowns and 3 interceptions. The other nine plays included four sacks, 3 runs, 1 fumble and a neutral zone infraction.
Spreading it Around
Where do the throws go? Here is a look at Roethlisberger’s throws by direction.
Here are Mason Rudolph’s numbers.
The running game took a nosedive after week 7 when they averaged 129.7 yards per game. The team managed at least 85 yards in only 3 of the next 11 games. In the first 8 games the Steelers ran the ball 36.7% of time. In the last five games that number has dropped to 25%.
Here is a look by run direction with the number of carries and yards per carry for the three main running backs.
Despite the poor effort overall by the team running the ball James Conner still managed to average 4.3 yards per carry. Benny Snell was best when running outside averaging over six yards per tote. Anthony McFarland averaged 2 or fewer yards in 4 of the 7 running directions.
There have been 69 short yardage situations (needing 2 yards or less) this season where they have run the ball. They were successful gaining the yardage needed 43 times (62.3%). They have also threw the ball 61 times completing 34 (55.7%) to get the first down.
The receiving corps collectively had a good year. Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool each had over 100 targets, over 800 yards receiving and at least seven touchdowns.
Where They’re Targeted
|Outside #’s Left||32||17||8||50||27|
|Left #’s to Hash||19||10||3||34||39|
|Between the Hashes||7||3||7||8||20|
|Right hash to #’s||31||8||2||38||42|
|Outside #’s Right||54||28||2||40||20|
Targets include the playoff game and plays where penalties were enforced.
Claypool (60% of targets) and James Washington (68.2%) lived outside the numbers. Ray-Ray McCloud had a third of his targets in the middle of the field mostly on fly motion touch passes. Johnson was targeted fairly evenly to the left (49.4%) and the right (45.9%). Smith-Schuster was targeted 68.2% of the time between the numbers.
Depth of Target
Over the last four games including the Wild Card game the Steelers played from behind often and that showed up in an increase of targets down the field. Here are the targets by depth for the year.
|5 yards or Less||42||22||19||95||82|
Johnson had deep 19 targets in the first thirteen games and had 15 in the last four. Similarly, Smith-Schuster had 11 before adding 8 more in the final four games. Claypool and Washington saw more intermediate targets down the stretch.
A total of 174 targets were thrown at or behind the line of scrimmage with 98 of those going to wide receivers.
Here are the completion percentages on the targets in the grid above.
|5 yards or Less||78.6%||68.2%||94.7%||71.6%||84.1%|
Smith-Schuster was criminally underused on deep passes but had the highest completion percentage catching 11 of 19 targets but had the lowest completion percentage in the intermediate area.
Eric Ebron was a big part of the offense getting 91 targets with 56 receptions with 5 touchdowns and 558 yards in the regular season. He also scored in the playoff game as well. Here are his stats by location.
|Location||Targets||Receptions||Comp%||Sum of YDS||YPR|
|Outside #’s Left||24||16||66.7%||176||11.0|
|Left #’s to Hash||21||16||76.2%||111||6.9|
|Between the Hashes||20||13||65.0%||131||10.1|
|Right hash to #’s||24||12||50.0%||138||11.5|
|Outside #’s Right||15||8||53.3%||83||10.4|
Ebron’s production based on completion percentage and yardage is pretty consistent on all three levels.
|Depth of Target||Targets||Completions||Comp %||Yards|
|5 yards or less||58||39||67.24%||247|
|5 to 15 yards||32||18||56.25%||224|
Vance McDonald finished with 15 receptions on 20 attempts for 99 yards and zero scores.
Offensive line Snap Counts
There have been a lot of players moving in and out of the offensive line but one player persists. Alejandro Villanueva finished the season playing every snap.
- No running back had a receiving touchdown
- The offense had 22 fumbles led by Roethlisberger with 5 and Claypool and Smith-Schuster with 3 each.
- Smith-Schuster had career highs in touchdowns (9) and catch percentage (75.8) and career lows in yards per reception (8.6) and yards per target (6.5).
- Roethlisberger reached some milestones: 150 career wins, 5,000 completions, 60,000 yards and 200 interceptions
- Conner led the team in rushing for the third consecutive year. The first running back to do that since Rashard Mendenhall (2009-2011)
- The Steelers have had a different player lead the team in receiving for the fourth consecutive year (Johnson, Washington, Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown)
- Smith-Schuster was targeted most often on interceptions (5)