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Johnny's Week 12 Steelers Offensive Stat Sheet: Topical Ointment for Your RASHard

Pardon me.
Pardon me.

The story of this game is that the Steelers were able to rush for 206 yards against a stout rushing defense.  Rashard Mendenhall made something out of nothing on many plays with a patchwork OL.  I will dive more into that later in the quick slants.  Actually, I guess the story of this game is that the Steelers were able to get 426 total yards despite their OL looking outmatched throughout the game.  Ben was constantly under duress and Rashard was working with small lanes and unplanned cutbacks.  I really hope the Steelers looking for OL early in the draft and that they allow Sean Kugler to get his two-cents in on the picks.

Stat of the week: Rashard Mendenhall becomes the 16th player in NFL history to have 4 games of 140+ rushing yards in the first 3 seasons of their career.  His company includes some great backs like Earl Campbell, Eric Dickerson, Terrell Davis, Walter Payton, Tony Dorsett, Curtis Martin, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, and LaDainian Tomlinson.  The crazy thing is, most of these guys had played 31 games before their 3rd season (31 is Mendenhall's career game total).

Offensive Ranks

Category Stat Week 12 Rank Week 10 Rank Trend
Points Per Game 23.1
16th 16th --
Total Yards Per Game 334.5 19th 28th
Yards Per Play 5.6 11th T-11th --
Time of Possession
31:48 9th 16th
3rd Down Completion % 41 T-10th 25th
Rush Yards Per Game 126.0 9th 12th
Rush Yards Per Attempt 4.2 T-13th T-17th
Rush TDs
T-6th T-10th
Pass Yards Per Game
208.5 22nd 27th
Yards Per Pass Attempt
8.2 2nd 2nd --
Passing TDs
16 T-19th T-21st
Sacks Allowed
24th T-14th
QB Rating
94.9 7th 10th
Point Differential
5th --


Keep in mind that the trends are compared to after the Patriots game, because I missed last week's Raiders stat sheet.  No matter how up and down our offense has looked, you have to remember how much better it is now with Ben Roethlisberger.  Most notably, our 3rd down conversion percentage has sky-rocketed from 29% up to 41%.  Being able to extend drives at over a 10% higher rate is huge, especially in tight contests.  Also, we are averaging 3 more points per game over the last 7 weeks as compared to the first 4.  The most important, however, is that Ben's QB rating is 100.5 so far, which was much better than the 77.5 Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch could muster.

One thing has been clear is that the sacks are starting to pile up because of the OL injuries.  The Steelers have given up an insane 12 sacks in the last 3 games, which means lately he is being sacked on a really unhealthy 9.75% of his drop backs.  Just as a reference, the average sack rate in the NFL is 5.9% and the 2nd worst sack rate in the league is 8.66% (I know you are asking why second worst, because Chicago's line is so bad they are allowing an absurd 11.2% and that is certainly an outlier.  It is sort of like how Peyton Manning and the Colts 2.61% is an outlier on the other side).  If we cannot find a way to keep Ben on his feet we are going to continue to struggle extending drives and scoring.


3rd Downs Conversions

Props to BA and the Steelers offense for having a great game in Buffalo on 3rd down.  They went 12 for 19 (63.2%), the highest mark of the year.  I cannot give full credit to BA, because some of the conversions were impromptu creations by the players, like Ben's 18-yard scamper.  Anyway, the third downs went as follows: 8p, 1r, 1r-TD, 5p, 10p, 8p, 15p, 10p, 19p-s, 1p, 4p, 9p, 17p, 9p, 2p, 22r, 4p-s, 8p, 2r (p=designed pass, r=run, s=sack, bold=converted, italic=turnover).  It is very impressive though, that we came out and converted our first 6 3rd down attempts.  If only we could keep that fire burning through the game.


Quick Slants

  • It Spins and Spins, But Won't Stop: As you know, Rashard Mendenhall had 151 yards on 36 carries this past Sunday.  As I said before, a lot of those yards were created  by Mendenhall.  Actually, 73 of his yards came after contact, which is almost half.  Moreover, 618 of Rashard's 962 yards this year have come after first contact, which is 6th most in the league.  Also, he has 35 broken tackles this year, which is the 3rd most in the NFL behind Falcons Michael Turner and Vikings Adrian Peterson.  Let's just limit the fumbles Mendy.
  • Filling Those Smoky Shoes: One thing I  loved about Santonio Holmes is that he always had his best day when we played the Baltimore Ravens.  7 TDs in 8 games and only 2 games with less than 60 yards.  Mike Wallace has played against Baltimore twice and has not scored a touchdown yet.  However, one of those games was the Ben-less offense and in the other he did have an 83 yard game against them last year with Ben throwing to him.  Let's hope we see our first touchdown for Wallace this game.
  • Peek-a-bo, I See You: Do not think I have not seen what you have done in the last few games Mewelde Moore.  Catching 100% of the balls thrown your way in the last four games, 14 of them.  That includes that 5 reception 79 yard game you had against the Patriots with 3 broken tackles.  I was very critical of your slow production early this year, but your last few games have reminded us why it is nice to have experience in the backfield.
  • Everything you need to know about Chris Kemoeatu's day on Sunday.