Steelers 2017 Week 3 Offensive Charting Notes

Another game is in the books, which obviously means that we are due for another installment of our weekly charting notes. The Pittsburgh Steelers lost Sunday to the Bears, falling to 2-1 on the season, during which the offense was only able to muster 17 points, including a field goal on a short field. Find out what that offense looked like schematically below.

  • Personnel groupings:
    • 01: 1/65 (1.5%)
    • 11: 54/65 (83.1%)
    • 12: 7/65 (10.5%)
    • 21: 3/65 (4.6%)
  • The Steelers used only four different personnel packages on Sunday, never using any package containing fewer than two wide receivers on the field. I’m honestly not sure when is the last time that that has happened, but I don’t recall any instances of that over the past few years since I’ve been charting.
  • After seeing the lowest usage rate of his career in the season opener, Le’Veon Bell is back to being used as the workhorse that he is, logging all but just two snaps in the entire game. He came off the field once for a four-receiver set, and Terrell Watson was also given one snap. James Conner did not play on offense.
  • The Steelers seem to start off games, even halves, with the ambitions of displaying versatility in their packages, and then abandoning them. Five of the first six plays were with two tight ends or a fullback on the field, but then they used at least three receivers on all but three plays for the rest of the half. The first two plays of the second half had two tight ends, and then all three-receiver sets from there.
  • There was a stretch in the game in which Vance McDonald saw a lot of playing time, used on 17 of 28 snaps between late in the first quarter and early into the third. Much of that chunk came after Jesse James took a big hit after a 14-yard reception. He missed 12 of the remaining 13 snaps in the first half before returning to play all but two in the second.
  • The Steelers 14 snaps out of the no-huddle represents a solid amount for a road game. They tend to play more of that at home.
  • The Steelers used play-action five times, netting two completions for 21 yards, averaging 4.2 yards per pass attempt.
  • The Bears didn’t blitz much but they were effective when they did. A sack and four incompletions—though one drew a 10-yard pass interference—on six plays. Just one 13-yard completion.
  • The Steelers didn’t YAC much on the day. Just 98 yards after the catch, and that includes 13 yards from behind the line of scrimmage. JuJu Smith-Schuster’s 25-yard reception came on a four-yard pass.
  • Average depth of target – 11.5 (42 targets; 39 official)
    • Antonio Brown – 13.8 (15 targets; 14 official)
    • Jesse James – 7 (4 targets)
    • Le’Veon Bell – .4 (7 targets)
    • JuJu Smith-Schuster – 7.5 (6 targets)
    • Martavis Bryant – 20 (10 targets; 8 official)
  • Note that Ben Roethlisberger only even targeted five different players on the day. Even Eli Rogers was not targeted.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • falconsaftey43

    They need to get Bryant involved in something other than the deep ball. He currently has the deepest average target of any player in the NFL. A lot easier to defend when you know you only have to worry about the deep ball.

  • Doug Sawyer

    that’s what Ju Ju is for

  • Thomas

    I feel like the Steelers are always seem to need to improvise a new offensive gameplan a couple drives in…as if their gameplan is more so based on demonstrating perceived strengths of offensive players and getting certain people involved rather than taking advantage of obvious weak points of the defense. Basically trying to do what you’re known for and making them stop it before starting to try and needle specific defenders with scheme.

    I feel like I would like to see more focused gameplans like the ones you get with the pats where you see packages and formations in only that week specifically to attack 1 small detail about a defender’s technique/reads.

    Where NE might run a hard fake off something they’ve repeated several times the Steelers seem like they just want to prove they can win with execution even if the defense has seen it on film and prepared for it.

    It’s demoralizing for the other team when it works but I feel like it’s not the path of least resistance overall.