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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

RANK TEAM RSH RSHYD YD/RSH
1 BAL 296 1684 5.689
2 DAL 277 1535 5.542
3 CAR 339 1795 5.295
4 JAX 248 1275 5.141
5 MIA 312 1580 5.064
6 NO 312 1556 4.987
7 TEN 307 1525 4.967
8 ATL 295 1424 4.827
9 MIN 297 1422 4.788
10 NE 296 1416 4.784
11 NYJ 389 1847 4.748
12 SF 241 1139 4.726
13 PIT 289 1355 4.689
14 DEN 278 1303 4.687
15 BUF 271 1244 4.590
16 CIN 341 1560 4.575
17 GB 260 1189 4.573
18 ARI 231 1053 4.558
19 PHI 212 963 4.543
20 NYG 294 1317 4.480
21 KC 295 1285 4.356
22 STL 282 1225 4.344
23 IND 223 949 4.256
24 SEA 261 1105 4.234
25 CLE 301 1256 4.173
26 CHI 224 930 4.152
27 SD 244 1002 4.107
28 DET 256 1039 4.059
29 OAK 273 1106 4.051
30 HOU 253 1016 4.016
31 TB 273 1096 4.015
32 WAS 242 961 3.971
* TOTAL 8912 41152 4.618

Table 2

WEEK TEAM RSH RSHYD YD/RSH
3 CIN 20 73 3.650
6 CLE 23 93 4.044
10 CIN 11 60 5.455
12 BAL 34 112 3.294
14 CLE 13 49 3.769
16 BAL 16 48 3.000
* TOTAL 117 435 3.718

Table 3

WEEK TEAM RSH RSHYD YD/RSH
2 CHI 13 84 6.462
3 CIN 20 73 3.650
4 SD 24 143 5.958
5 DET 14 59 4.214
6 CLE 23 93 4.044
7 MIN 12 78 6.500
10 CIN 11 60 5.455
11 KC 19 62 3.263
12 BAL 34 112 3.294
13 OAK 19 114 6.000
14 CLE 13 49 3.769
15 GB 15 56 3.733
* TOTAL 217 983 4.530

Table 4

WEEK TEAM RSH RSHYD YD/RSH
1 TEN 17 29 1.706
2 CHI 13 84 6.462
4 SD 24 143 5.958
5 DET 14 59 4.214
7 MIN 12 78 6.500
9 DEN 20 135 6.750
11 KC 19 62 3.263
13 OAK 19 114 6.000
15 GB 15 56 3.733
17 MIA 19 160 8.421
* TOTAL 172 920 5.349

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About Dave Bryan

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.

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