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/YearGAttYdsYPATD
Ravens 2003618411226.1011
W.Parker 20055824545.502
Ravens 200261417575.373
Bengals 200461316434.913
Ravens 200461597704.846
Browns 200761376394.663
Ravens 200761326064.596
Steelers 200561818034.447
Steelers 200661657284.416
Ravens 200961576884.386
Bengals 200561607004.387
Steelers 200461978574.356
W.Parker 200661395874.206
Bengals 200961747114.093
A.Zereoue 20026823294.014
Browns 200361556214.012
Bengals 200261395513.964
Ravens 200661616343.944
Steelers 200261706683.938
Ravens 200862128333.935
W.Parker 20084793053.901
Bengals 200661375333.894
Ravens 200561586043.821
W.Parker 200751254693.801
Steelers 200861656243.785
Bengals 200761445413.762
J.Bettis 200451053923.735
Bengals 200361284673.653
Browns 200261254503.602
Steelers 200761816433.552
Steelers 200961455133.542
Browns 200861414943.501
Browns 200561103783.441
Browns 200961264223.351
Steelers 200361625293.274
R.Mendenhall 20095872823.242
J.Bettis 20036902903.223
Bengals 200861223913.200
Browns 200461394453.201
Browns 20066922622.851

2009 Rashard Mendenhall Stats Outside AFC North

WeekWhereTEAMScoreAttYdsYPATD
1HomeTENW, 13-10461.500
2AwayCHIL, 14-1733913.000
4HomeSDW, 38-28291655.692
5AwayDETW, 28-2015775.131
7HomeMINW, 27-1710696.900
9AwayDENW, 28-10221557.050
11AwayKCL, 24-2721803.810
13HomeOAKL, 24-27201035.151
15HomeGBW, 37-3611383.451
17AwayMIAW, 30-2420944.700
TOT***1558265.335

2009 Rashard Mendenhall Stats Against AFC North

WeekWhereTEAMScoreAttYdsYPATD
3AwayCINL, 20-23000.000
6HomeCLEW, 27-1417623.651
10HomeCINL, 12-1813362.770
12AwayBALL, 17-2024953.960
14AwayCLEL, 6-1316533.310
16HomeBALW, 23-2017362.121
TOT***872823.242

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