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Steelers 2017 Week 4 Offensive Charting Notes

The Pittsburgh Steelers came into Sunday’s game with a plan in mind to get the running game going, and they did that—including dedicating the personnel in order to carry out that plan. As you’ll see below, they used three-receiver sets less frequently than in the first three games in order to help build up their sluggish ground game.

  • Personnel groupings:
    • 11: 55/80 (68.8%)
    • 12: 6/80 (7.5%)
    • 13: 7/80 (8.8%)
    • 21: 1/80 (1.3%)
    • 22: (9/80 (11.3%)
    • 23: 1/80 (1.3%)
    • V-32: 1/80 (1.3%)
  • Nearly 70 percent usage of three wide receivers is a lot, but it is a decrease from the previous three games, and the sheer volume of snaps—24—with extra tight ends or fullbacks in and of itself is significant.
  • Only three of the 22 non-penalties snaps of those were passing plays, and on the 19 carries they gained 102 yards for a quality 5.4-yard average. 12 of those carries featured J. Finney checking in as a tackle-eligible.
  • Something that I’ve already noted earlier this week is the fact that the running game did very well when Vance McDonald was on the field. The Steelers averaged six yards per carry on his 21 running plays, while they averaged just 3.2 yards per carry on the 30 carries for which Jesse James was on the field.
  • That is not to say that McDonald is the lone factor there. Take into consideration that the majority of the run plays with James were out of the 11 personnel package, for example, while the majority of McDonald’s run snaps were out of 12, 22, or 13 looks.
  • For the second week in a row, rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster logged more snaps than did Martavis Bryant. His versatility, his ability to block, and his polish shown early in his career are the cause for this. On Sunday, 36 of his 57 snaps came out of the slot, while 20 came outside, and he took one snap at tight end.
  • The Steelers didn’t gain a lot on yards after the catch Sunday. Their only plays of more than 10 yards after the catch were all on screens thrown at or behind the line of scrimmage.
  • Against the Ravens, fullback Roosevelt Nix lined up at wide receiver and tight end on one snap each.
  • The Steelers extensively featured pulling linemen as well, with David DeCastro pulling 15 times, Ramon Foster six times, and Maurkice Pouncey
  • Just two snaps off play action, resulting in one-for-two passing for 15 yards.
  • The Ravens blitzed eight times, resulting in a sack, three incompletions—including a batted pass and a forced throwaway—and a fortuitous interception. They did complete three passes for 38 yards.
  • Average depth of target: 9.6 (31 targets; 30 official)
    • Vance McDonald – 5 (2 targets; 1 official)
    • Antonio Brown – 10.6 (9 targets)
    • Jesse James – 6 (3 targets)
    • Le’Veon Bell – 1 (6 targets)
    • JuJu Smith-Schuster – 9.3 (4 targets)
    • Justin Hunter – 15 (2 targets)
    • Martavis Bryant – 20 (5 targets)
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