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The Steelers will have more than 450 rushing attempts in 2021

In the new “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” series, we break down situations which could take place for the Steelers in 2021.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers Minicamp Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the 2021 regular season, but before the real games begin, the team has to head to training camp to fine tune their skills. As we here at BTSC prepare you for the start of camp, we give you a series called “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” which gives you a Steelers scenario every day leading up to the start of camp.

It is simple how it works. We provide you the scenario, reasons why it will or won’t happen, and then our prediction for what we think will take place.

Let’s get to the scenario...

Scenario: The Steelers will have more than 450 rushing attempts in 2021

Steelers rushing attempts:

2020: 373
2019: 395
2018: 345
2017: 437
2016: 409
2015: 388
2014: 423
2013: 394
2012: 412
2011: 434
2010: 471

Why it will happen: First, having an extra regular-season game is not going to hurt being able to reach this number. But the biggest reason the Steelers could hit 450 rushing attempts is the fact team president Art Rooney II said early and often in the offseason that this team is focused on getting back to running the ball. Drafting a running back with the first draft pick help solidify this mentality. Now the Steelers just have to prove their commitment on the field.

Why it won’t happen: The biggest fear when it comes to running the ball for the Steelers in 2021 is uncertainty. Yes, Najee Harris looks to be the real deal, but he does not have an NFL carry yet. Add in the fact the offensive line is only returning one starter who is likely changing positions, it’s not a recipe to believe the Steelers will be in a situation where they can simply run the ball 27 times a game. Add in the fact the Steelers haven’t rushed the ball 450 times since 2010, even with the new offensive coordinator it’s tough to see that much of a commitment to the running game all of a sudden.

Prediction: The number of Steelers rushing attempts in 2021 is going to come down to two major factors. First, they must run the ball efficiently. It doesn’t do any good to run the ball with more attempts if you simply aren’t getting the yards. Second, the game situation has to come into play. If the Steelers are trailing late in the game they will have to put the ball in the air, but if they are trying to hold a lead they will likely want to grind it out on the ground. Being the eternal optimist for the Steelers before they take the field, I’m going with the notion they can run the ball efficiently enough to warrant games where they will have 30 or more rushing attempts. If they don’t get to 450 carries this season, I think they’ll at least get close.


Check out yesterday’s ‘30 Scenarios in 30 Days’ prediction:

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.