I was asked about play direction in the running game via email and it is about time we check back in with those stats. Next year I will try to post these weekly for you. The top table is is through 14 games while the bottom table was through the first 4 games. Of course a ton has happened in that span as Jonathan Scott has been the starter at left tackle since Max Starks went down, while right guard has seen the bodies of Trai Essex, Doug Legursky and Ramon Foster as of late. The table breaks down number of plays each direction and that rank and also the average gain and that NFL rank.
As you can see the Steelers like running right. "22 Double" is perhaps responsible for most of the big runs this season starting with the walk-off TD run by Rashard Mendenhall in week 1. Chris Kemoeatu is known for his pulling ability to the right. Foster and Flozell Adams are holding their own in run blocking, but Adams has a -5.8 run block rating according to Pro Football Focus this year while Foster has a -3.2 and they are lucky Mendenhall is so good after first contact. A very underrated running back stat for sure. Scott? well Scott is a warm body that is better to have out there than Tony Hills.
The Steelers, as are pretty good on 1st down and have run 201 rushing plays on 1st down for a 3.93 average yards per rush. On 2nd downs it is still respectable as they have run 137 rushing plays on 2nd down for a 3.7 average yards per rush. Not the best in the NFL on either down, but respectable. As of late the line has not dominated the likes of Buffalo and the Bengals on the ground and that is a bit of a concern in mid December as both of those teams have not been good against the run this year going into their games against the Steelers.
Through Week 14
Up the Middle
|Plays: 17||Plays: 42||Plays: 56||Plays: 99||Plays: 67||Plays: 66||Plays: 22|
|NFL Rank: 32||NFL Rank: 19||NFL Rank: 5||NFL Rank: 14||NFL Rank: 3||NFL Rank: 5||NFL Rank: 29|
|Avg Gain: 5.59||Avg Gain: 3.83||Avg Gain: 3.07||Avg Gain: 3.53||Avg Gain: 4.66||Avg Gain: 5.64||Avg Gain: 5.09|
|NFL Rank: 13||NFL Rank: 24||NFL Rank: 26||NFL Rank: 23||NFL Rank: 8||NFL Rank: 2||NFL Rank: 16|
Through Week 4
|Left End||Left Tackle||Left Guard||Up the Middle||Right Guard||Right Tackle||Right End|
|Plays: 10||Plays: 11||Plays: 22||Plays: 28||Plays: 21||Plays: 18||Plays: 7|
|NFL Rank: 19||NFL Rank: 17||NFL Rank: 3||NFL Rank: 14||NFL Rank: 4||NFL Rank: 6||NFL Rank: 23|
|Avg Gain: 4.60||Avg Gain: 3.82||Avg Gain: 3.95||Avg Gain: 4.14||Avg Gain: 3.43||Avg Gain: 8.11||Avg Gain: 5.43|
|NFL Rank: 16||NFL Rank: 20||NFL Rank: 12||NFL Rank: 16||NFL Rank: 13||NFL Rank: 1||NFL Rank: 13|