One Area Of Steelers’ Run Game Still Struggling

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ running game has gotten back on track, especially when you compare to where it was at during the beginning of the year. But all is not perfect. In 11 personnel, three receiver sets, the most common grouping the Steelers use, they’re one of the league’s worst teams in running the football.

That stat comes courtesy of ESPN’s NFL Matchup, whose Twitter account is constantly rolling out good tidbits of info. This one though wasn’t kind to Pittsburgh.

As the graphic shows, the Steelers have the league’s third-worst rushing offense out of 11 personnel, averaging 3.7 YPC. Only the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals are worse.

Out of any grouping, the Steelers are averaging 3.8 YPC, 23rd in the NFL. They’ve been effective pounding the rock out of tighter personnel groupings, Roosevelt Nix was a key cog in Sunday’s win, but have consistently struggled when spreading the ball out.

And even as the run game has gotten better as a whole, the 11 personnel numbers have stayed stagnant. Dave Bryan did the math after three weeks and found the Steelers were averaging 3.85 yards per carry out of 11 personnel, meaning the number has somehow gone down even as Le’Veon Bell has hit his groove.

Running the ball with power is all well and good. But with the Steelers being in three receiver sets the majority of the time, they’re going to have to prove they’re effective running it there, too, if they want to expect consistent success on the ground.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.