Johnny's Stat Sheet Week 3: Plundering Their Booty

Is that a double entendre for those Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders?  I will let you decide.  The main meaning of my lame quip this week is that we beat up the Bucs.  The most enjoyable part of these first 3 games is that we have not had to worry if we would be able to win when Ben Roethlisberger gets back.  I will not lie, that had me really worried in the preseason.  However, we have seen that this defense can win a game with anyone at QB.  No more Tums for me, the defense has filled in as a certified antacid.  However, I am still remaining a realist.  We are not unbeatable now, and we will not be when Ben gets back.  16-0 talk is already starting and I find it rather silly.  Just enjoy the now and do not worry about week 17.

Stat of the week: The Steelers offense currently ranks 1st in the percentage of plays that are rush attempts.  The Steelers have elected to run the ball 61.5% of the time on offense (96/156) and pass only 60 times in three games.  That puts the Steelers run/pass ratio at 8:5, or in other words the Steelers rush 8 times for every 5 passes.  The closest behind them is the Tennessee Titans with a 3:2 ratio.  Actually, besides the Steelers, Titans, Jets, Chiefs, and Falcons every team has a pass slanted offense.  Take a look at that, those 5 teams have a combined record of 12-3, with 2 of the losses coming within the group.  Run the ball and good things happen.  Also, in case you were wondering, and I know you were, the most pass heavy offense goes to the San Francisco 49ers, who roughly have a 1:2 ratio and an 0-3 record.  I wonder if that played a big part in their OC getting fired...?

Defense

Week 3 Ranks

Category Stat Week 3 Rank Week 2 Rank Trend
Points Per Game 11.0 1st
T-1st --
Total Yards Per Game 278.7 6th 6th --
Yards Per Play 4.3 1st 3rd
Rush Yards Per Game 59.7 3rd 4th
Yards Per Rush Attempt 2.6 T-3rd 4th
Rush TDs Allowed 1 T-2nd T-1st
Pass Yards Per Game 219.0 17th 17th --
Yards Per Pass Attempt 6.2
7th 8th
Passing TDs Allowed 1 T-1st T-3rd
Sacks 10
T-4th T-4th --
QB Rating Against 68.1 5th 6th
Turnover Ratio +6 T-1st 1st --

The defense is still looking pretty good, and things are beginning to balance-out a little bit in the rankings.  I think we are going to see our pass defense yardage stay around the middle of the pack this year.  Teams absolutely cannot run on this defense and with the big cushion our DBs give (see LeBeau's scheme plan) it makes passing more tempting.  Therefore, we will give up a lot more yards in the air as a result of the increased pass attempts and decreased rush attempts.  As of now, the Steelers have seen 63.0% of the plays against them be passes.  Only the Chicago Bears (69.9%) and Houston Texans (69.8) have seen a larger percentage of passes.  Although, I would argue those two have seen more heavily slanted pass offenses, but that is an argument for another post.  As long as the Steelers keep the yards per pass attempt low (i.e. eliminate big plays) we will be a great defense.  On that same note, Baltimore has the #1 pass defense, but they have only seen 49.7% passes.  I doubt they would be #1 if that ratio was higher.  Fact is, Baltimore is giving up 4.7 yards per rush attempt and teams are trying to abuse that.

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Offense

Week 3 Ranks

Category Stat Week 3 Rank Week 2 Rank Trend
Points Per Game 24
T-8th 21st
Total Yards Per Game 288.0 26th 31st
Yards Per Play 5.3 T-16th 28th
Time of Possession
30:53 16th 8th
3rd Down Completion % 26 30th 32nd
Rush Yards Per Game 150.0 3rd 10th
Rush Yards Per Attempt 4.7 6th -- --
Rush TDs
2 T-10th T-14th
Pass Yards Per Game
139.3 T-31st 31st --
Yards Per Pass Attempt
7.8 T-8th T-18th
Passing TDs
3 T-21st 32nd
Sacks Allowed
7 T-19th T-28th
QB Rating
84.4 17th 21st

Well things got better from last week, but do not be confused by my pretty green arrows.  Our offense is still struggling a bit, but a good dose of Charlie Batch was a partial remedy.  First of all, we finally scored a passing touchdown, after being the only team playing in week 3 without a touchdown pass.  Secondly, we got out of last place in another category by finally doing well on 3rd downs (44.4%).  Actually, it was better than that because the last 3rd down was a knee, so they completed 50% of their third downs.  The yard break downs were 4, 6, 7, 3, 10, 1, 2, 4, 10.  Talk about managing your first two downs very well BA!  I really was amazed at how good of a game BA called.  Anyway, on the 8 third downs (not including the last) we had 6 designed pass plays and 2 designed runs.  Note: 1 pass play turned into a 24 yard, age-defying Batch run.  Also, one third down conversion resulted in a Hines Ward 9 yard TD.  My only gripe with BA on the 3rd downs is try running a bit more on those.  Isaac Redman has had great success and should get more touches.

I am glad to see our rush offense so highly ranked.  I like Rashard Mendenhall's chances of having a really big game this week against a Baltimore defense giving up 127.7 rush yards a game (23rd) and 4.7 yards per attempt (26th).  I believe Terrence Cody, AKA Lady Lumps, is back this week from injury and could make a difference though.  Anyway, when Ben gets back I think our pass offense should improve.  I just hope that BA can see these numbers and not abandon the run for the Golden Bathroom Child.  Do I have to repeat?  Run the ball and good things happen.

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Field Position

Drives

Steelers: 10
Titans: 11

Starting Field Position

Steelers: Own 33
Bucs: Own 29

Average Starting Field Position for Season

Steelers: 34.9 (35 total drives + 1 KR)
Opponent: 30.0 (38 total drives)
Differential: +4.9

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Numbers that Matter

None this week, will be back next week!  Sorry, it has been a busy week.

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Quick Slants

  • The Steelers recorded 4 sacks on Sunday and none came from their starting OLBs.  The last time our OLBs were shut out of the sack category in the same game was in Denver last year (11 games prior to this one).  However, the 2 amounted a ton of QB pressures, 7 for Wood and 4 for Harrison.  Also, each guy did get some hits on the QB, Wood 1, Harrison 2.  All of that pressure on the QB makes the secondary's lives easier.
  • That means that LaMarr Woodley's 10 game sack streak came to an end.  That deserves a double frowny face =( =( 
  • In games Batch has had 15 pass attempts or more this game is his 8th with 3 pass TDs, 17th with a 100+ QB rating, and 6th with a 70% completion %.  Random Charlie note: did you know he once had 62 pass attempts in a single game?  Good Lord!  That many pass attempts has only happened 21 times in the history of the NFL.  Those teams have a 5-16 record in those games.
  • Cornerback stats: Ike Taylor: thrown at (TA) 3 times, 2 receptions, 66.7 Ct%, 12.5 yards per completion, 17 YAC.  Bryant McFadden: TA 5 times, 3 receptions, 60 Ct%, 11 yards per completion, 2 YAC.  William Gay: TA 3 times, 3 receptions, 100 Ct%, 3.7 yards per completion, 9 YAC.  I am still waiting for Ike to turn things around, he is giving up a lot of yards after the reception.
  • Ike Taylor still cannot catch.
  • Mike Wallace the deep threat.  Mike Wallace is leading the league in yards per reception again (5 receptions to qualify) with a 26.7 average.
  • Lawrence Timmons dropped back a little bit against Tampa Bay.  He had 2 missed tackles, whereas he only had 1 the previous 2 weeks.  Additionally, he only recorded 2 stops, but had 11 going into the game.  However, he did record his first sack of the year.  Also, his coverage could be better, as he is allowing a 75 completion % against him.  He is still 2nd in the league in tackles though.
  • LeGarrette Blount does not understand how football scores work.
  • Antonio Brown is currently ranked 2nd in the NFL in kick return average with 34.7 yards per returnStefan Logan is 18th (24.5)...behind Mewelde Moore.
  • Antwaan Randle El is currently ranked last in punt return average (4.5) in returners with at least 5 attempts.
  • Is Jeff Reed's leg on roids?  Last year he was dead last in kickoff return average, this year he is ranked 8th.  Reed's KO average last year was 59.8 yards and this year it is 67.7.  Also, he already has as many touchbacks as he had ALL of last year.
  • Also, I do not know how PGH got this one, but it is pretty interesting:

Mendenhall averages 4.5 yards per carry with his first 10 touches of the game.  He averages 4.7 per carry with his next 10 (rushes 11-20) and a league leading 12.2 yards per carry the next 10 touches.

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