Johnny's Week 10 Steelers Offensive Stat Sheet: Handled by the Bearded Lady

Well the offense again look off and again it was mostly due to a off-kilter and injured offensive line.  Give credit to Bill Belichick for recognizing weaknesses and patterns of our offense and exposing them.  Multiple times the Patriots loaded up on the left side of their line because they knew we liked to run to that side.  Additionally, on passing downs he would blitz heavily from the left where two new bodies were starting.

Stat of the week: Hines Ward had caught at least one pass in 186 straight games going into Sunday's game against the Patriots.  The streak ended when a Patriots hit the defenseless WR on a helmet-to-helmet hit and gave him a concussion which prevented him from returning.  Ward's record ends just 4 games behind Marvin Harrison's 190 games and miles behind Jerry Rice's 274 game streak.

Week 10 Ranks

Category Stat Week 10 Rank Week 9 Rank Trend
Points Per Game 22.2
26th 16th --
Total Yards Per Game 313.6 24th 28th
Yards Per Play 5.5 T-8th T-11th
Time of Possession
30:11 18th 16th
3rd Down Completion % 36 T-22nd 25th
Rush Yards Per Game 113.1 13th 12th
Rush Yards Per Attempt 4.0 T-17th T-17th --
Rush TDs
7
T-13th T-10th
Pass Yards Per Game
200.4 22nd 27th
Yards Per Pass Attempt
8.1 2nd 2nd --
Passing TDs
13 T-18th T-21st
Sacks Allowed
21
T-22nd T-14th
QB Rating
92.5 7th 10th
Point Differential
+38
12th
5th

Junk time, shmunk time.  Every team pads their stats in junk time, so I am not worried about what it did to our numbers, because it is all relative.  Our offense passed two nice milestones though, they are finally averaging over 300 yards total offense per game and 200 passing yards per game.  If Ben Roethlisberger could have a blow out offensive weekend I would feel a lot better about our offense.  This feels like 2008, except that our defense is not winning games for us anymore.

Over the last few games our rushing total has begun to dwindle away.  Just 4 weeks ago our rush average was at 131.0 yards per game.  I do not think it is much of a game plan change now that Ben is back, because our rush attempts are still pretty high except for the NO and NWE game.  However, in those games we were playing catch-up and were unable to run later in the game.  I believe the obvious culprit is our banged up offensive line.  Also, Rashard Mendenhall's "swept-under-the-rug" shoulder injury and reduced carries could be playing a role in the drop off.  Hopefully, we can get back a healthy Chris Kemoeatu who is a good mauler in our rush offense.

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3rd Downs Conversions

This week the Steelers went 5 for 12 on 3rd down (41.7%).  The downs went as follows: 7p, 10p, 30p-s, 7p, 1r, 10p-s, 6p, 3p, 12p, 11p-s, 8p, 2p-TD (p=designed pass, r=run, s=sack, bold=converted, italic=turnover).  Only one designed run, except the 3rd and 6 pass turned into a Ben scramble.

I told you I would give you a little bit more 3rd down conversion stats this week and I am here to deliver.  This year the Steelers have converted 41 of 114 third downs (35.96%).  In those 114 third downs the Steelers have elected to pass 93 times and run 21 times.  Now, before you throw a "BA sucks tirade", consider that it does not make much sense to pass on 3rd and 10.  Therefore, let's take a little bit deeper look.  Here are the yardages the Steelers have faced on 3rd down:

1 yd. 2 yd. 3 yd. 4 yd. 5 yd. 6 yd. 7 yd. 8 yd. 9 yd. 10+ yd. Total
Total 11 8 7 9 8 11 7 10 4 39 114
% of Total
9.65 7.02 6.14 7.89 7.02 9.65 6.14 8.77 3.51 34.21 100

 

It is nice to see that 37.7% of our 3rd downs have been what I consider "manageable" (5 or less yards).  I call that manageable because you can likely pick it up on a hot cross route or on a well designed run past a blitz.  However, it is concerning that 34.2% of our 3rd downs are 10 yards or more.  Those are plays where the D knows a pass is coming and the blitz has longer to get there because the WR has to run an intermediate route.

Now let's break down the play calling on 2 yards or less and on 3 to 4 yards.  BA has done a great job on play calling on 1 and 2 as we have converted 12 of 19 (63.2%) of these situations.  He has dialed up 15 runs and just 4 passes, converting 1/2 of the passes and 2/3s of the runs.  On 3 and 4 yard 3rd downs, however, the calls have been not as good.  We have converted an awful 5 of 16 (31.3%) of these downs.  What is worse, is that BA has only called 1 run on a 3rd and 3 or 4 out of 16 attempts.  I say every week he should try running in these situations, but he refuses to.

Consider this, 16 of the 21 runs we have called on 3rd downs have been on 4 or less yards.  If you include the 5 runs to end a quarter, that means that BA has called 0 runs outside of short yardage.  When a defense is expecting a pass and blitzes, sometimes catching them by surprise with a run is a lot more effective.

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Quick Slants

  • Hines Ward HoF Watch: Ward sits at 11th all time in receptions with 925, he needs 15 more to reach Art Monk to break into the top 10.  He has 11,322 career receiving yards, which is 24th all time.  He needs 52 yards to pass Keenan McCardell and 68 to passRod Smith.  Lastly, he has 82 career touchdowns, just 2 behind 15th (4 players) and 3 behind 12th (3 players) with only one active player in those 7, Tony Gonzalez.
  • Swiss Cheese Line: Jonathan Scott was as bad as I thought as he was credited with  giving up 1 sack and 4 QB pressures.  Maurkice Pouncey and Flozell Adams also gave up 4 pressures, but 0 sacks and hits.  Ben Roethlisberger was credited with 2 of the sacks, Ramon Foster 1, and Mendenhall 1.  I think these numbers would have been worse, but it appeared that the Patriots dropped into a prevent late in the game.
  • Good Under Pressure: When Ben was blitzed he completed 61% of his passes for 150 yards and a touchdown, which gave him a 94.5 QB rating when blitzed.  On the season, Ben has an 89.9 QB rating when he is blitzed and a 95.9 QB rating when under pressure.  If we are going to have a crappy line, I am at least happy we have a QB who handles pressure decently well.
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