Arians Not Telling Whole Story Between The 20\’s

This post is going to be a close spin off to the Steelers and Rashard Mendenhall needing to run better against the division post I did a few days ago. Tuesday, Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians talked with John Seibel and Joe Starkey about the running game where Arians said in the first 15 seconds of the interview, “We ran the ball well last year from the 20\’s, 20 to 20!” Stop the tape right there. In all of my recent research, I thought something did not sound right so I researched the numbers.

In the first table below, I compiled all 32 teams running back stats from their own 20 to the opponents 21 yard line, as this is truly 20 to 20. I also only counted 1st to 3rd down runs and left out 4th down runs for obvious reasons. As you can see, with a 4.689 yards per carry, the Steelers ranked 13th in the league. The average of all the teams was 4.618, so the Steelers clocked in just above average there.

In the second table I compiled the same stats, but only for the Steelers games against division opponents. In these 6 games the Steelers averaged just 3.718 yards per carry. This is well below the league average as you can see and borderline pitiful compared to the average of 4.689. In the table after that, I took all 16 games and removed the 2 best games and the 2 worst games based on yards per carry. That equated to a yards per carry between the 20\’s of 4.530, which still comes in well below the league average of the first table.

Finally in the last table, I isolated the 10 games outside of the division. These must be the stats that Arians is looking at, as the Steelers averaged a stellar 5.349 yards per carry in those 10 games. So for Bruce to say the Steelers ran well between the 20\’s in 2009, is a bit of a stretch. The games in the division certainly mean the most and the Steelers failed miserably in that stat line.

Now I know you can twist these stats several different ways, but when Arians said ran well between the 20\’s, I automatically thought running backs between the 20\’s on 1st-3rd down. Didn\’t you?

Table 1

RANKTEAMRSHRSHYDYD/RSH
1BAL29616845.689
2DAL27715355.542
3CAR33917955.295
4JAX24812755.141
5MIA31215805.064
6NO31215564.987
7TEN30715254.967
8ATL29514244.827
9MIN29714224.788
10NE29614164.784
11NYJ38918474.748
12SF24111394.726
13PIT28913554.689
14DEN27813034.687
15BUF27112444.590
16CIN34115604.575
17GB26011894.573
18ARI23110534.558
19PHI2129634.543
20NYG29413174.480
21KC29512854.356
22STL28212254.344
23IND2239494.256
24SEA26111054.234
25CLE30112564.173
26CHI2249304.152
27SD24410024.107
28DET25610394.059
29OAK27311064.051
30HOU25310164.016
31TB27310964.015
32WAS2429613.971
*TOTAL8912411524.618

Table 2

WEEKTEAMRSHRSHYDYD/RSH
3CIN20733.650
6CLE23934.044
10CIN11605.455
12BAL341123.294
14CLE13493.769
16BAL16483.000
*TOTAL1174353.718

Table 3

WEEKTEAMRSHRSHYDYD/RSH
2CHI13846.462
3CIN20733.650
4SD241435.958
5DET14594.214
6CLE23934.044
7MIN12786.500
10CIN11605.455
11KC19623.263
12BAL341123.294
13OAK191146.000
14CLE13493.769
15GB15563.733
*TOTAL2179834.530

Table 4

WEEKTEAMRSHRSHYDYD/RSH
1TEN17291.706
2CHI13846.462
4SD241435.958
5DET14594.214
7MIN12786.500
9DEN201356.750
11KC19623.263
13OAK191146.000
15GB15563.733
17MIA191608.421
*TOTAL1729205.349

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeler junkey

    Actually I think what he meant was the Steelers were ok running the ball from the 20 t0 20 yard lines, but terrible in the red zone are. He just left out the bad part.