clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Snap totals vs. the Panthers make you wonder if the Steelers really need a true No. 3 WR

New, comments

The Steelers might not have a dynamic trio at wide receiver, but do they really need three big-time players within this offense?

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers blew the doors off of the Carolina Panthers in Week 10 on Thursday Night Football by posting an astonishing 52 points against the highly touted Panthers’ defense.

After the game, you saw ridiculous numbers all around. What was especially interesting were the receiving statistics and those who contributed in one way or another. Ben Roethlisberger completed passes to nine different receivers, and seven different players registered touchdowns on Thursday Night Football.

Those who caught passes were:

JuJu Smith-Schuster
Antonio Brown
James Conner
Jaylen Samuels
Jesse James
Vance McDonald
Ryan Switzer
Roosevelt Nix
Darrius Heyward-Bey

Notice a name not only the list? Try James Washington, the man fans were hoping would win the No. 3 wide receiver job with Justin Hunter inactive yet again. If you look at the snap totals, it wasn’t as if Washington didn’t see the field enough to make a play. He played 46 offense snaps, which was more than Smith-Schuster and only less than Antonio Brown at the receiver position.

All those snaps, and not even a target, let a lone a reception.

Maybe this is more about Ben Roethlisberger not finding the young receiver, or other players showing up in big situations. I look at a player like Ryan Switzer, who registered just 8 offensive snaps, but was able to come down with two big conversions when on the field.

Either way, it made me wonder if all the fuss about a dominant third wide receiver is really a necessity, or just a luxury. With Smith-Schuster and Brown dominating their matchups, and the tight ends and a mix of others chipping in when given the chance? Sure, having a player like Washington, or Eli Rogers, step up and be “the guy” as the No. 3 receiver would be nice, but not sure it is required with this talented group.

Time for some more nuggets which caught my eye when reviewing the snap totals after Week 10:

  • Coty Sensabaugh, 53 snaps, was the only iron man who played in all 53 defensive snaps in Week 10.
  • The rotation at ILB/Sub Package ILBs stalled for a week, for whatever reason, but it is hard to argue with the success of this plan on this particular week. Vince Williams (40) and Jon Bostic (48) switched for Morgan Burnett (38), but L.J. Fort played just 9 defensive snaps vs. Carolina.
  • Terrell Edmunds (33 Snaps) saw his lowest snap total since Week 1, and it became clear the team wants to get Burnett more involved as he gets back to full health after missing a quarter of the season with a groin injury.
  • Bud Dupree (49 snaps) showed some endurance considering he was only off the field for four plays. On the other side, T.J. Watt played just 38 snaps, with Anthony Chickillo snagging 27 defensive snaps.
  • Artie Burns played just 10 snaps on a day the team blew out the opponent.

To check out the complete list of snap totals, see the grid below. If the grid doesn’t show for you, click HERE to access this information.