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Steelers & Rashard Mendenhall Must Run Better Against Division Foes In 2010


I have a new stats program I am playing with an wanted to isolate some running game stats against the teams in the division. I compiled stats all the way back to 2002 of just the running backs and their rushing stats versus the other teams in the AFC North. In the same table I also compiled the stats of the Steelers running back with the most carries in each year against the Ravens, Bengals and Browns as well for comparison. Lastly in the bottom tables I broke down the individual stats of Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall against the division in 2009 and all games outside of the division.

Mendenhall excelled in 2009 against teams outside of the division as he averaged 5.33 yards per carry, but as you can see, the out put of Mendenhall against division foes in 2009, is ranked well at the bottom versus other teams and individual stats of other Steelers running backs. He only beat out the 2003 season of Jerome Bettis just barely in the yards per carry stat. 2003 saw the Steelers go 6-10 overall and 3-3 in the division that year. Now of course this is not all on the running back as the offensive line, blocking and play calling go into these stats are not shown here, but you get a pretty good picture here.

In a minor defense of Mendenhall, he only received more than 17 carries just once in the 5 games he played in within the division. In that one game against Baltimore he carried 24 times for 95 yards. That was the game Dennis Dixon started at quarterback as well. Another stat that is worth noting is that in games he carried the ball 20 or more times in 2009, he averaged almost 5.1 yards per carry. In addition, the 7 road games saw him average 4.9 yards per carry. Where he and the Steelers clearly lacked success was in the AFC North as you can see, as they went 2-4 in those games in the division.

The Steelers must get back to success running in the division with Mendenhall in 2010 if they expect to compete for the AFC North crown and a playoff berth. It is evident why they spent a first round draft pick on Maurkice Pouncey and understaood the urgency of bringing in Flozell Adams at right tackle when Willie Colon was lost for the year. Should the Steelers fail to make the playoffs in 2010, this is stat that once again likely will be able to be pointed at. Let\’s hope we do not have to.

2002-2009 AFC North Running Back Stats Against Division Ranked By YPA

Team/Player/Year G Att Yds YPA TD
Ravens 2003 6 184 1122 6.10 11
W.Parker 2005 5 82 454 5.50 2
Ravens 2002 6 141 757 5.37 3
Bengals 2004 6 131 643 4.91 3
Ravens 2004 6 159 770 4.84 6
Browns 2007 6 137 639 4.66 3
Ravens 2007 6 132 606 4.59 6
Steelers 2005 6 181 803 4.44 7
Steelers 2006 6 165 728 4.41 6
Ravens 2009 6 157 688 4.38 6
Bengals 2005 6 160 700 4.38 7
Steelers 2004 6 197 857 4.35 6
W.Parker 2006 6 139 587 4.20 6
Bengals 2009 6 174 711 4.09 3
A.Zereoue 2002 6 82 329 4.01 4
Browns 2003 6 155 621 4.01 2
Bengals 2002 6 139 551 3.96 4
Ravens 2006 6 161 634 3.94 4
Steelers 2002 6 170 668 3.93 8
Ravens 2008 6 212 833 3.93 5
W.Parker 2008 4 79 305 3.90 1
Bengals 2006 6 137 533 3.89 4
Ravens 2005 6 158 604 3.82 1
W.Parker 2007 5 125 469 3.80 1
Steelers 2008 6 165 624 3.78 5
Bengals 2007 6 144 541 3.76 2
J.Bettis 2004 5 105 392 3.73 5
Bengals 2003 6 128 467 3.65 3
Browns 2002 6 125 450 3.60 2
Steelers 2007 6 181 643 3.55 2
Steelers 2009 6 145 513 3.54 2
Browns 2008 6 141 494 3.50 1
Browns 2005 6 110 378 3.44 1
Browns 2009 6 126 422 3.35 1
Steelers 2003 6 162 529 3.27 4
R.Mendenhall 2009 5 87 282 3.24 2
J.Bettis 2003 6 90 290 3.22 3
Bengals 2008 6 122 391 3.20 0
Browns 2004 6 139 445 3.20 1
Browns 2006 6 92 262 2.85 1

2009 Rashard Mendenhall Stats Outside AFC North

Week Where TEAM Score Att Yds YPA TD
1 Home TEN W, 13-10 4 6 1.50 0
2 Away CHI L, 14-17 3 39 13.00 0
4 Home SD W, 38-28 29 165 5.69 2
5 Away DET W, 28-20 15 77 5.13 1
7 Home MIN W, 27-17 10 69 6.90 0
9 Away DEN W, 28-10 22 155 7.05 0
11 Away KC L, 24-27 21 80 3.81 0
13 Home OAK L, 24-27 20 103 5.15 1
15 Home GB W, 37-36 11 38 3.45 1
17 Away MIA W, 30-24 20 94 4.70 0
TOT * * * 155 826 5.33 5

2009 Rashard Mendenhall Stats Against AFC North

Week Where TEAM Score Att Yds YPA TD
3 Away CIN L, 20-23 0 0 0.00 0
6 Home CLE W, 27-14 17 62 3.65 1
10 Home CIN L, 12-18 13 36 2.77 0
12 Away BAL L, 17-20 24 95 3.96 0
14 Away CLE L, 6-13 16 53 3.31 0
16 Home BAL W, 23-20 17 36 2.12 1
TOT * * * 87 282 3.24 2

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