Johnny_S(tatistics) Week 15: Who's your daddy? Ben Roethlisberger!

Damn!  It feels good to finally win.  Everyone take a deep breath and enjoy this feeling.  As you will see in this "Playoff Possibilities" fanpost by imike29 the Steelers are still very much alive in the playoff race.  Hopefully, our players and coaches realize the only thing they can do is win and hope the rest falls into their hands.  Playoffs or not, I am happy this team kept playing despite its slim playoff hopes.  That makes me proud to be a Steelers fan.

On a side note, unrelated to Steelers and football, I would like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday this week.  Drink, be merry, and enjoy the presence of your family.  No matter what your circumstances are, you are a wealthy man in my book if you have someone (family) that loves you.  Sorry, I'll get off this soap box now.  Happy holidays!

Statistic of the week: Only three teams in the NFL have two receivers with over 1,000 yards for the year.  The New England Patriots with Randy Moss and Wes Welker, the San Diego Chargers with Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates, and our own Pittsburgh Steelers with Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward.  Neither of those two teams have a third receiver over 600 yards.  We have two in Heath Miller and Mike Wallace.



(last week)

18.8 points per game (11th)
294.1 yards per game (4th)
4.9 yards per play (T-4th)
84.9 rush yards per game (1st)
3.7 yards per rush (T-3rd)
4 rush TDs allowed (T-3rd)
209.3 pass yards per game (13th)
5.6 yards per pass attempt (T-5th)
15 passing TDs allowed (T-11th)
39 sacks (2nd)
-5 Turnover Ratio (T-24th)

(this week)

20.0 points per game (T-9th) ^
304.2 yards per game (6th) v
5.1 yards per play (T-9th) v
83.1 rush yards per game (1st)
3.8 yards per rush (T-4th) v
6 rush TDs allowed (4th) v
222.1 pass yards per game (T-17th) v
5.8 yards per pass attempt (T-9th) v
18 passing TDs allowed (T-12th) v
40 sacks (T-2nd)
-5 Turnover Ratio (T-22nd) ^

Another week where a lot of our defensive ranks dropped, that is not quite surprising considering the offensive slugfest we had this week that set a few NFL records.  Our pass defense took the biggest hit with a 4 spot drop and the average went up 20 yards per game.  Also, another week and no more forced turnovers.  That is starting to get ridiculous.



(last week)

21.4 points per game (16th)
362.5 yards per game (9th)
5.8 yards per play (T-8th)
32:20 Time of Possession (6th)
38.1% 3rd down completion % (17th)
113.5 rush yards per game (16th)
4.2 yards per rush (T-16th)
8 rush TDs (T-20th)
249.0 pass yards per game (12th)
7.2 yards per pass attempt (T-6th)
21 passing TDs (12th)
38 sacks allowed (T-29th)
21 turnovers (T-13th) 

(this week)

22.5 points per game (15th) ^
375.1 yards per game (8th) ^
5.9 yards per play (T-4th) ^
32:33 Time of Possession (4th) ^
38.6% 3rd down completion % (17th)
110.2 rush yards per game (19th) v
4.2 yards per rush (T-15th) ^
9 rush TDs (T-19th) ^
286.9 pass yards per game (T-4th) ^
7.2 yards per pass attempt (T-6th)
24 passing TDs (T-8th) ^
43 sacks allowed (30th) v
21 turnovers (T-11th) ^

Obviously, after Ben's and the offenses performance most of our passing ranks increased.  And of course, our rushing ranks got worse.  The most noticeable statistic here in my opinion is that the offense did not turn over the ball a single time.  "Well that is what the offense is supposed to do!"  Well consider this, the Packers are 1st in turnover margin at +18 and have forced 33 turnovers this year (3rd).  For us to not have one dumb turnover is pretty damn impressive if you ask me.  Also, consider that Charles Woodson, a Packer CB, is in the talks for Defensive Player of the year with 8 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles, 2 sacks, and 2 defensive TDs.  The Steelers blanked him in all of those categories and they seemed to purposely throw in his direction the majority of the game.  Santonio Holmes abused him so bad that Woodson had at least 3 defensive holding calls on him that I can remember.  We must resign Holmes!!!


Notes on the Week 15 Game

Starting Field Position (SFP)

Steelers: Own 27.3 (Much better than last week: 21.5)
Packers: Own 32.2

Two bad special teams squared off here, hence the high average starting field positions.  I think Logan had a decent game yesterday.  A couple timely returns and no real bone-headed moves in my opinion.  Anyway, is it just me or do Jeff Reed's kickoffs seem to be getting shorter and shorter?  They all appear to be landing at the 10 yard line now, where 2 or 3 weeks ago it was around the 5 yard line.  That is definitely a huge reason why teams are winning field position against us in the last few games.

Average Starting Field Position this Season

Last week:
Steelers: Own 28.56 (23rd)
Opponent: Own 26.99 (5th)
Differential: 1.56 (11th)

Through Week 15 (sorry the ranks haven't come out yet, that stat guy is on vacation I believe, will update)
Steelers: Own 28.45
Opponent: Own 27.36
Differential: 1.09


The On-side Kick

Was it a good call was it a bad call?  I remember a few weeks ago Ron Jaworski talking about on-side kicks and their success rate.  According to Advanced NFL Stats, on-side kicks have a 26% rate.  However, in our situation this is very misleading.  On the vast majority of these kicks the opposing team knows it is coming.  That allows them to put in the "hands team" and change their formation to have more players to catch the ball.  In our case, the Packers were not expecting the kick at all (who was?).  When a team is not expecting it on-side kicks have a success rate of roughly 60%.

So Tomlin believed a 60% chance was better than what our defense could offer, was he right?  The Packers had 12 drives last night.  From those, I will exclude the drive after the on-side kick and the drive at the end of the half.  Out of 10 drives the Packers punted 5 times and had 1 missed field goal.  It is my opinion, but I am counting the missed FG as a fail by the defense (Crosby failed, our defense didn't win).  Therefore, the defense had a success rate of 50%.  I am not sure if you are a poker player or not, but when you go all in you want to do that with your best hand, the hand that has the highest % chance of winning.  That is what Tomlin did and it was a good call. 

Take a look at these screen caps.  Ike clearly had the space to let it bounce one more time to cross the 40.  He even had a blocker there to take care of Clay Matthews if necessary:Onk-1_medium




Stats That Make Me Queasy

  • The Big Play. As of week 15, the Steelers have given up 9 big plays (plays of 40+ yards).  Additionally, they have given up 16 plays of 30+ yards, 46 plays of 20+ yards, and 95 plays of 15+ yards (These stats do not include returns of any type).  Those are the accumulated stats over 14 games.  In 2008, in the regular season, 16 games, the defense gave up only 3 big plays.  Also, they only gave up 8 plays of 30+ yards, 27 plays over 20+ yards, and 62 plays over 15+ yards.  The differentials are +6 in big plays, +8 in 30+ yards, +19 in 20+ yard plays, and +33 in 15+ yard plays and there are two games left to play!  Even when you include playoffs in 2008 all of the numbers are still lower than 2009 numbers.  Playoff numbers: 4 big plays, 4 30+ plays, 7 20+ plays, and 18+ plays.  Does that show how impressive last year's D was or how unimpressive this year's D is?
  • I mentioned last week that Ben has one of the highest sacks per drop backs in the NFL.  Well Ben was sacked 5 more times on Sunday (that is 13 in the last 2 weeks) to bring his season total to 43 sacks (2nd most in the league behind Rodgers).  Unless our O-Line has 2 tremendous games or Ben throws the ball away he is going to break his career high in 2007 where he was sacked 47 times.  That is not a number we want to be increasing for the 100 million dollar man, our franchise QB.

  • We haven't forced a turnover in three consecutive games and we have not recorded an interception since Denver.  So, in roughly 170-180 passing attempts we have not intercepted a single ball.  

End on a Positive

  • Hi, Heath Miller.  How have you been?  Heath Miller had a monster game, 7 receptions and 118 yards.  Miller has sprinted past his career highs of 48 recs (2008) and 566 yards (2007) and not looked back.  He has 68 receptions and 698 yards, to put him on pace for 78 receptions and nearly 800 yards.  Also, he has 5 TDs and has a chance of tying or breaking his 2007 7TD career high.  Anyway, the most impressive thing about Heath's game against GB was how open he was.  The separation he got allowed him to get a ton of yards after the carry.  Your offense will do very, very well if your TE gets open on third and makes big plays.
  • I saved the best for last, Ben Roethlisberger.  After a lot of us questioning Ben's play this year and a possible locker room controversy, you have to love a response like this.  Ben's performance did not say "shhhh" to the critics it said "Shut the hell up and get outta here!"  I wanted to find where his 503 yard single game performance ranked all time, but I could not find it.  I couldn't even find how many QBs have thrown for over 500 yards in the NFL's history.  However, the previous Steelers yardage record was held by Tommy Maddox with 473 yards.  I think we are all glad his name can be washed off that record.  Also, he is the first QB to throw for 500 yards since Drew Brees did it in 2006 and the first QB to throw for 500 yards in a win since Boomer Esiason did it in 1996.  Ben is on pace to break 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his career and break his career completion % for a season (he is at 67.7% and his career high is 66.4%).  If Ben can have two more good games he could possibly have his highest QB Rating for a season (he is currently at 100.6 and his career high is 104.1). Update: check out Blitzburgh's post here to compare Ben's game to past 500 yard games.

Ok, I have another Statistic of the Week, complain all you want.  The Pittsburgh Steelers are on a 5 game losing 1 game winning streak!

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