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Steelers Offensive Charting: 2021 Midseason

If you had the Steelers going 4-0 in the second quarter of the season, raise your hand. Okay put your hand down. You’re lying. It hasn’t always been pretty, but a win is win.

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 2021 season the offense has run 557 snaps. Here is the breakdown of personnel and run versus pass numbers.

Personnel Pass Pass % Run Run % Total
11 281 71.5% 112 28.5% 393
12 48 47.1% 54 52.9% 102
13 6 60.0% 4 40.0% 10
20 4 40.0% 6 60.0% 10
21 1 9.1% 10 90.9% 11
22 5 41.7% 7 58.3% 12
23 0 0.0% 2 100.0% 2
V32 0 0.0% 6 100.0% 6
Grand Total         557

 

The emphasis to run the ball more was evident in recent games.

  • The run percentage from 11 personnel in the first four games: 19.9%. Through eight games: 28.5%
  • The run percentage from 12 personnel in the first four games: 46.9%. Through eight games: 52.9%
  • Seven of eight plays in 21 personnel were runs in games 5-8

No Huddle – 57 snaps (10.2% of total plays), which is 7.1 per game. There were 17 runs for 46 yards (2.7 yards per carry) and passing they were 24 of 40 (60% completions) for 277 yards with zero touchdowns and one interception. That averages out to 11.5 yards per completion (10.6 in the first four games), and there were three sacks.

Play Action – 68 snaps (12.2%) with 40 completions in 64 attempts (62.5%; up from 58.1% in the first four games) for 485 yards, which includes four sacks and no touchdowns or interceptions. They averaged 12.1 yards per completion.

Motion – There has been improvement in this area as the season has progressed. The first four games had 23 plays with a player moving at the snap (9.1%). Through eight games, that number increased to 82 lays (14.7%).

  • The running numbers for the first four games were 16 runs for 17 yards (1.06 yards). In games 5-8 they ran the ball 45 times for 211 yards (4.68 ypc). Much improved.
  • The passing numbers in the first four games were 4-of 7-for 13 yards (3.25 yards per reception). In games 5-8, 8-for-14 for 65 yards (8.13 ypr)

Quarterbacks

Ben Roethlisberger has been in shotgun for 404 plays (72.5% down from 84.2% in games 1-4), under center for 136 snaps (24.5% up from 16.9%) and in pistol for 16 plays.

By Down – Roethlisberger’s passing statistics by down

Down Play Count Completions Incompletions Comp% Yards TD INT Sacks
1 110 75 35 68.2% 620 2 0 5
2 112 67 45 59.8% 732 1 1 4
3 98 57 41 58.2% 632 6 3 3
4 7 4 3 57.1% 2 1 0 0
Totals 327 203 124 62.1% 1986 10 5 12

 

Vs. Blitz – He has faced a blitz on 57 plays, completing 31 of 54 passes (57.4%) for 316 yards and two touchdowns, no interceptions, and has been sacked three times.

Spreading it Around

Where do the throws go? Here is a look at Roethlisberger’s throws by direction. A throw 15 or more yards is considered deep.

Direction Count Completions Incompletions Comp% INTs Yards
Deep Left 25 5 20 20.0% 1 169
Deep Middle 4 3 1 75.0% 0 90
Deep Right 21 6 15 28.6% 0 186
Short Left 116 81 35 69.8% 1 656
Short Middle 74 47 27 63.5% 2 433
Short Right 80 61 19 76.3% 0 442


Running Backs

There has been a bigger commitment to the run in games five through eight.

Direction Count Total Yards YPC First 4 Games YPC Change
Left End 17 55 3.24 2.33 0.91
Left Tackle 22 65 2.95 1.29 1.66
Left Guard 37 98 2.65 2.25 0.40
Middle 40 134 3.35 4.08 -0.73
Right Guard 41 174 4.24 4.69 -0.45
Right Tackle 24 63 2.63 1.7 0.93
Right End 14 129 9.21 9.2 0.01
Totals 195 718 3.68 3.43 0.25

 

The running game saw a slight improvement on runs to the left side. Running off the right end is still proving to be most effective

Short Yardage

There have been 20 short yardage situations (needing two yards or less) this season where they have run the ball. They were successful gaining the yardage needed 11 times (55%). Najee Harris has been successful on 8-of-14 with two touchdowns.

Wide Receivers

The loss of JuJu Smith-Schuster was a tough one to deal with this offense. Let’s see where the ball is going.

Where Are They Targeted

Locations Claypool Washington McCloud White Johnson Smith-Schuster
Outside #’s Left 20 4 2 1 44 5
Left #’s to Hash 9 4 3 1 8 9
Between the Hashes 5 1 1 0 3 4
Right hash to #’s 8 4 1 1 9 9
Outside #’s Right 17 6 3 0 17 1
Totals 59 19 10 3 81 28

 

  • Claypool’s number stayed pretty consistent with a slight increase in the middle of the field
  • Washington’s new targets were all inside the numbers.
  • Johnson saw a slight increase on targets to the right, and is on pace for 170 targets.

Depth of Target

Pass distance is always interesting with the Steelers throwing a lot of short area passes, but there has been an increase to the intermediate level.

Targets Claypool Washington McCloud White Johnson Smith-Schuster
5 yards or Less 22 11 8 1 39 16
6-15 yards 20 3 0 1 16 9
16+ 17 5 2 1 19 3

 

  • Claypool continues to have the best balance of targets on all levels.
  • Johnson more than tripled his targets in the intermediate level.

Tight Ends

After just 21 targets to the tight ends in the first four games, that number has increased 167% with 35 targets in next four games, with Pat Freiermuth getting 24 of those targets. Zach Gentry had six of his eight targets in the last four games.

Locations Gentry Ebron Freiermuth
Outside #’s Left 0 4 7
Left #’s to Hash 3 3 6
Between the Hashes 3 3 8
Right hash to #’s 1 3 5
Outside #’s Right 1 0 9
Totals 8 13 35

 

  • Between the hashes increased to 25% of the targets. Good to see the middle of the field being used more.
  • Balance for Freiermuth with between five and nine targets in each area of the field. If he averages six targets per game like he has recently, he’ll be on pace for nearly 90 targets.

Depth of targets

Targets Gentry Ebron Freiermuth
5 yards or Less 5 7 19
6-15 yards 2 5 15
16+ 1 1 1

 

Offensive Line Snap Counts

Already eight players have played some snaps on the offensive line, and Zach Banner will soon be number nine. Some of the tackle snaps were on an unbalanced line.

Player Left Tackle Left Guard Center Right Guard Right Tackle
Trai Turner 545
Kendrick Green 544
J.C. Hassenauer 1 (fake FG) 12
Dan Moore 538 3
B.J. Finney 11 11
Kevin Dotson 545 1 (fake FG)
Joe Haeg 16 95
Chukwuma Okorafor 2 458

 

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