Steelers Have 4th-Ranked Offense According To Pro Football Focus

The Pittsburgh Steelers offense this season has not earned itself the greatest reputation in the world. They have at the very least thoroughly underachieved so far, particularly struggling in recent weeks to capitalize on opportunities inside the red zone. Their ability to convert on third down has also bordered on disgusting at times.

Similarly, the analytics website Pro Football Focus doesn’t exactly have the best reputation around these parts, either, especially when they move from statistics to analysis. So I’m sure most will take what I am about to write about with couple shakers full of salt.

Nevertheless, I feel it is worth at least mentioning that the site currently has the Steelers’ offense ranked as the fourth-best in the league, behind only the Falcons, the Buccaneers, and the Patriots. Behind them, and rounding out the top 10, are the Chiefs, Saints, Titans, Eagles, Packers, and Jets.

Of the group, the article reads, “the Steelers offense hasn’t been the unstoppable force it looked like it might be heading into the season, but they have played some very high level defenses. They were able to put up 26 points against the Minnesota Vikings, but they have also run into the Chicago Bears and the Jacksonville Jaguars”.

Statistically, both the Vikings and the Jaguars rank in the top five—along with the Steelers—in scoring defense, while the Bears rank a respectable 13th. Chicago is also at or near top-10 levels in both rushing and passing defense, being one of the better teams in both aspects in limiting big plays.

“In recent weeks”, the article goes on, “Le’Veon Bell looks back to his best in the backfield and that immediately transforms this team’s prospects. With one of the best offensive lines in the game they have an excellent platform for success”.

It is kind of funny, and telling, that the entire entry did not even mention Ben Roethlisberger or the passing game. They did credit Antonio Brown with the highest-graded player on the unit—Jesse James was the worst by a pretty comfortable margin—but it is a bit eye-opening to see it not even discussed.

Of course, for the majority of the past 17 games, including the playoffs, dating back to the last season, the Steelers have focused far more on running the ball than passing the ball, so an emphasis on the run game is really not without merit at all.

Roethlisberger has only attempted 26 or fewer passes in each of the past two games, while Bell has run the ball at least 32 times. There are no obvious signs to me that today’s game should see a departure from the emphasis on the running game today in Detroit, either.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Lil Smitty

    After reading this, all I have to say is: Well that is interesting. I don’t get to excited or depressed by what “experts” say unless they attack players and coaches.
    I am one that believes Ben will be better after the bye week. He appears to be slightly off on many of his throws. It doesn’t seem to be arm strength, since he is overthrowing many of his receivers.
    The comment about Steelers facing good defenses is something that I had thought as I watched the games. To be more precise with my view, they faced the type of defense that will give them troubles. A 4 – 3 defense with very large and active tackles. Our offense is built for speed with lighter and more athletic players. The same could be said about the defense. I don’t think we have only one player on the team that is a legitimate 340 player and he is a teddy bear. I could see playing teams like that could create problems for the Steelers, but the Patriots are not one of those teams. Most teams built like that are the Vikings, Bears, and Jacksonville. Teams that have had the high draft picks to get these behemoths in the draft.
    Hopefully, as the season rolls along the Steelers will play better and their ranking will improve to please all the analytically inclined on this site. The main thing I am concerned about is winning games.

  • francesco

    The key to the Steelers success so far has been the pressure we have put on the opposing QB and the Haden effect.
    Let me add Hilton as well.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    We have the best WR and RB in football. If we continue to work out the kinks we’ll be good! Definitely need to start finishing drives! Wish McDonald could play! Offense seemed more crisp when he got more acclimated to the system.

  • mem359

    Yeah, just because the offense should be better, does not make them bad.
    (Not having the best WR and the best RB would be bad.)

  • Don

    Football Outsiders ranks them as the #5 offense

  • Dshoff

    I’m going to play the optimist here. Since the offense isn’t lighting up the scoreboard, it may just be making the defense play a little tougher, knowing that they may have to make stops to win the game. If our offense gets rolling, we could have a GREAT team here.

  • melblount

    “Never the less…”
    PLEASE stop this. I’ve tried to tell you a couple of times, it’s one word, “nevertheless.” Same spelling, just delete the two spaces. It’s actually easier to type.

    If you don’t believe me, google it.
    If you don’t care, well, I don’t know what to say to you then.

    And just what the heck is “4th-Ranked Offensive” in the article title?

  • Conserv_58

    My response to PFF’s ranking: Zzzzzzzzz!

  • WB Tarleton

    I understand that it annoys you. Never the less, there is little reason to take offensive at it.


    A Jerk

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    Hard to believe. They don’t pass the eye test or light up the box score. Weird.

  • Russell Stauver

    I agree with you, Mel. Spelling and grammar checks lend to one’s credibility.

  • melblount

    The author claims he wants to improve his journalistic skills. Not being able to consistently spell correctly hurts his chances. I’m just trying to help him, but he does not take criticism well.

    If you don’t think it matters, consider this: I worked for 20+ years for one of the largest employers in my state of residence. All applications and resumes were received/reviewed by our HR department before being forwarded to department heads (like me). Regardless of what position the applicant was seeking, ONE spelling error on either their application or resume resulted in that applicant’s resume being tossed.

    Seriously. Tossed.

    What could have been a great job/career was gone over ONE spelling error.

  • melblount

    Thanks. You may want to read my follow-up post to “A. Jerk.”

  • Matthew Marczi

    Look, first of all, it’s nice that you know what’s going on in everyone’s lives at all times that might affect their work. Clearly you know what happened to me last night, and it’s great that you’re understanding of it.

    But I never asked you for your assistance, so don’t cop an attitude if you find a grammatical error as if it’s some personal slight against you. Also, don’t state claims the author has ever made. This is a blog, and my future is not in journalism.

  • melblount

    “Also, don’t state claims the author has ever made.”
    Say what? Do you mean to say, “never made?”

    I have no idea what happened to you last night, or how that even remotely applies to you not being able to spell correctly or take criticism intended to help you.

    See my reply to “A. Jerk” and best wishes with “your life’s work” (Thanks, Chuck), the transition to which could not come soon enough for me.

  • Matthew Marczi

    It was sarcasm, to denote the reality that you are not aware of why I didn’t have time to proofread last night.

    Your example is an absolutely abominable example of exactly how society should not function. You portray it as a fool tossing away a golden opportunity over a typo, when it can just as easily be seen as a company missing out on a fantastic employee because of something rather meaningless.

    I hope that you understand why your post was insulting and unnecessary. I’m not interested in being scolded over something that you don’t pay to read. It’s one thing to point out a mistake, and another to lecture condescendingly.

    I do not turn away constructive criticism that is presented in a less disrespectful manner, but ultimately, readers should understand that this is not a journalism website.