The Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars are preparing for a rematch of Week 5 when the two teams squared off at Heinz Field. The Jaguars got the best of the home team 30-9 in that contest, but a lot of time has passed since the October meeting between these two teams.
If there are any comparisons to draw between these two offenses, the emphasis on the running game has to stand out. The Steelers want to get Le’Veon Bell involved as much as possible, and the Jaguars rely on a successful running game to help alleviate the pressure on quarterback Blake Bortles.
One aspect of these two offenses, and their success running the ball, revolves around the formations they run out of the most.
Check out the best formations for both the Steelers and Jaguars below, based on yards per carry, courtesy of ESPN’s NFL Matchup Twitter feed:
Le'Veon Bell carries by major personnel grouping this season!— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) January 9, 2018
Another productive year for Bell, and they'll need him this week against the #Jaguars in a big way.#HereWeGo #Steelers #JAXvsPIT pic.twitter.com/2yeg29wTBk
Leonard Fournette's runs broken down by personnel grouping this season.— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) January 9, 2018
This OL will be a point of emphasis this offseason, without question, but in spite of the growing pains it's been a solid (if unspectacular), high-volume run game.#Jaguars #Jags pic.twitter.com/sGvMNGuOx1
Although the numbers might be similar between these two running backs, they are far from similar when it comes to styles. Fournette is your traditional north-and-south runner, while Bell is the most dynamic back in the NFL from both a skill standpoint, as well as from a positional standpoint.
Lastly, when it comes to the better offensive line, the nod would have to go to Pittsburgh. Jacksonville has protected Bortles well, but the Steelers’ offensive line should be considered one of the best in the NFL. Both units will get a chance to prove themselves on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET at Heinz Field when they go head-to-head for their playoff lives.