Categorized | Article, Rankings

Stats Break Down On Rooney II Comments On Running Game


The word came down last weekend that Art Rooney II wants to run more effectively in the redzone and in games in which the Steelers have the lead. Here is what Rooney II told Scott Brown in a recent interview. “We need to be better at running the football. We were not consistently good at running the football this year, and I think that was a problem, and it’s certainly something that traditionally has been one of the foundations of the team and we need to get back to that. We need to be able to run the ball to be successful. Some of or troubles in the red zone this year, I think, can be traced to that and some of our troubles holding leads this year can be traced to that. It’s an area of our offense our game that we need to be better at and more consistent at than we were this year.”

Below are the stats for the Steelers running the ball in the redzone and in the 4th quarter in situations were they had the lead. The rushing stats are running back stats only. The total amount of total plays in these situations does not include sacks or penalties. I can guarantee these stats are not 100% correct, but very close based on my stats mining methods. The stats also include plays run on 1st through 4th down with 10 or less yards to go.

As you can see in the first chart dedicated to the redzone, the Steelers averaged only 2.02 yards per carry on runs by a running back in the redzone. This ranked 29th in the league using the stats. The Steelers also ran only 45% of the time in these situations as well. Both of these stats go hand in hand as the faith in the running game in the redzone probably led to wanting to pass more in these situations as the year wore on.

The second chart shows were perhaps the Steelers did not run enough in 4th quarters of games in situations where they held any type of lead. The Steelers averaged 4.23 yards per carry by running backs in these situations which was good for 12th in the league. On the flip side, they only ran 64% of the time in these situations.

One interesting thing to point out in both of these charts is that the 2009 Buffalo Bills had a better yards per carry by running backs in both of these situations. The Bills offensive line was coached by new Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler. Kugler got this accomplished with a patch worked offensive line that saw 9 different starting combinations in 2009 that saw only the center starting all 16 games at his regular spot.

In conclusion, you can see the beef that Rooney has. I suspect that offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will be instructed to run more in these situations and Kugler will be charged with getting the most out of the linemen in these two situations. You could also see the Steelers bring a true fullback into the plan with less 3 wide receiver sets.

Running Back Stats In Redzone

RANK TEAM PLYS RSH YDS YD/RSH RSH %
1 ARI 124 57 218 3.82 46%
2 NO 171 77 270 3.51 45%
3 PHI 120 45 144 3.20 38%
4 BAL 127 77 244 3.17 61%
5 CLE 86 54 167 3.09 63%
6 IND 154 76 234 3.08 49%
7 NE 162 86 259 3.01 53%
8 SF 90 39 117 3.00 43%
9 SEA 106 40 119 2.98 38%
10 MIA 152 92 272 2.96 61%
11 HOU 158 74 217 2.93 47%
12 ATL 146 75 208 2.77 51%
13 CAR 117 75 205 2.73 64%
14 DAL 129 64 175 2.73 50%
15 TB 86 24 65 2.71 28%
16 KC 111 38 99 2.61 34%
17 DEN 144 72 185 2.57 50%
18 NYG 148 76 192 2.53 51%
19 JAX 115 70 174 2.49 61%
20 NYJ 106 66 164 2.48 62%
21 BUF 92 49 120 2.45 53%
22 STL 91 38 91 2.39 42%
23 SD 166 102 237 2.32 61%
24 CHI 143 68 152 2.24 48%
25 GB 143 61 136 2.23 43%
26 CIN 129 56 121 2.16 43%
27 MIN 163 86 183 2.13 53%
28 TEN 114 52 106 2.04 46%
29 PIT 118 53 107 2.02 45%
30 OAK 65 29 57 1.97 45%
31 WAS 126 56 99 1.77 44%
32 DET 99 36 55 1.53 36%

Running back Stats In 4th Quarter With Lead

RANK TEAM PLYS RSH YDS YD/RSH RSH %
1 KC 20 17 144 8.47 85%
2 CHI 68 43 264 6.14 63%
3 MIA 63 44 247 5.61 70%
4 ATL 78 52 267 5.13 67%
5 TEN 43 34 174 5.12 79%
6 NYJ 104 80 380 4.75 77%
7 MIN 150 95 450 4.74 63%
8 NO 154 99 451 4.56 64%
9 BUF 65 40 182 4.55 62%
10 CAR 76 62 275 4.44 82%
11 GB 132 92 394 4.28 70%
12 PIT 96 61 258 4.23 64%
13 NYG 83 49 207 4.22 59%
14 DEN 98 70 293 4.19 71%
15 DAL 112 73 303 4.15 65%
16 PHI 95 52 216 4.15 55%
17 HOU 93 62 255 4.11 67%
18 ARI 101 56 216 3.86 55%
19 SEA 59 38 146 3.84 64%
20 SD 137 99 364 3.68 72%
21 BAL 103 65 236 3.63 63%
22 NE 169 102 355 3.48 60%
23 JAX 58 38 130 3.42 66%
24 TB 30 22 74 3.36 73%
25 IND 122 68 220 3.24 56%
26 SF 103 75 238 3.17 73%
27 CIN 87 69 208 3.01 79%
28 WAS 73 44 130 2.95 60%
29 CLE 57 45 130 2.89 79%
30 OAK 23 15 37 2.47 65%
31 STL 3 1 2 2.00 33%
32 DET 12 7 1 0.14 58%

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