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  1. #1
    Chairman of the Board Iron City South's Avatar
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    Why our offense strugggles ..

    Here goes. You might want to pour yourself a drink, or pick up a gun and drive over to Bruce Arians' house. Stats are from ESPN, NFL.com and Football Outsiders, a stats analysis site that works in cooperation with FoxSports.com:

    -- Ben has been sacked a whopping 43 times this season, or 10.1 percent before the Jacksonville game, more than any other QB in the NFL except Jon Kitna, who has been sacked 46 times. I think every Steelers fan can agree that were it not for Ben's strength in shrugging off tacklers and his mobility, the sack total could be 143. Ben's sack yardage loss total, 313, is worst in the league, as is his sack percentage.

    -- His touchdown percentage, on the other hand, 7.5, and his touchdown total, 29, are both third best in the league behind those of Tom Brady and Tony Romo. When Ben is not being taken down in an 11-on-1 game of Smear the Queer, in other words, he's very efficient.

    -- His total yardage, 2897, however, drops to 12th, just behind Eli Manning, and his number of attempts, 385, drops to 15th. Combined with Ben's sack total, this stat makes more sense. Pittsburgh is failing to get off passing attempts more than any other team in the league due to sacks. Even Kitna, who has been sacked more than Ben, is fifth in the league in passing attempts with 499.

    -- Although Willie Parker leads the league in rushing, with 1317 yards, he has 40 more attempts than the number two back, LT, who has only six less yards than Parker. Of the 11 backs who have 1000 yards or more, Parker's rushing avg. of 4.1 yards is lower than six of them and tied with two. In other words, despite being the league leader in rushing, in average yards per carry, he's toward the bottom of the 11 best rushers in the league.

    And ...

    -- Parker's and Davenport's touchdown total, 5, is tied for 17th in the league with three backs: Frank Gore, Steven Jackson and Kenny Watson. The Steelers rush more times for less average yardage and far fewer touchdowns than comparable teams.

    (Parker is not the every-down back answer in Pittsburgh my friends .... believe it!)

    The stats become a little more nuanced, perhaps unjustifiable so in Pittsburgh's favor, because the Steelers have blown out five teams: the Browns, Bills, 49ers, Seahawks, and Ravens.

    -- On 3rd or 4th downs where the conversion was 2 yards or less, Pittsburgh has converted running the ball 62 percent of the time, for a rank of 18th in the league. The number one team, Indy, converts these plays 79 percent of the time.

    -- 23 percent of Pittsburgh's runs have been stuffed for zero or negative yardage, for a rank of 15th in the league. Indy also leads the league in this category, with 18 percent.

    Here's where the rubber meets Larry Zierlein's and Bruce Arians' asses:

    -- Football Outsiders, which ranks Pittsburgh 23rd in the league in offensive line run efficiency, tallies the percentages of run plays to five directions of the OL and the line's rank compared to the rest of the league in that direction. On runs around the left end, Pittsburgh has had an avg. of 4.39 yards, 13th in the league; Left Tackle, 4.25 yds (18th); Mid-Guard, 3.66 (28th); Right Tackle, 4.63 (8th), and Right End, 4.93, (4th)

    Apparently Pittsburgh hasn't had as much success running the football to the right and left of the center. Given the characters who inhabit that neck of the woods, and given that Parker is a speed back, not a power back, that's hardly stunning. Let's look at where the Steelers have chosen to run the ball, then:

    -- On 389 rushing attempts, Pittsburgh has run the ball to the left end 9%, left tackle 17%, mid-guard 54%, right tackle 15%, and right end 5%.

    Pittsburgh is running the ball to the section of the OL it fares worst more than all other sections of the OL combined.

    -- Furthermore, Pittsburgh is 9th in the league in percentage of run plays that result in 10 more yards, with 20 percent, indicating that when Parker and Davenport get past the OL, they fare well. Again, not a surprise.

    Further stats bear out the earlier ones, that the Steelers score points when their drives progress and don't turn the ball over a whole lot ...

    -- On 142 drives, Pittsburgh's offense has averaged 2.07 points per drive (7th); .232 touchdowns per drive (8th); .127 turnovers per drive (9th); .085 INTs per drive (10th); .042 fumbles per drive (8th); and .694 percentage of down series that resulted in either a first down or a touchdown (10th).

    But ...

    -- Pittsburgh's offense has an avg. starting line of scrimmage of 32.89 (3rd); yet only averaged 29.15 yards per drive (15th) and punts the ball .387 percent (14th).

    In other words, a gigantic percentage of Pittsburgh's drives are stalling out somewhere in enemy territory, well short of the red zone.

    Jeff Reed's field goal attempts (23) are 23rd in the league. His longest FG is 49 yards. Despite having the third best average starting line of scrimmage in the league, and having decent overall offensive stats, the Steelers offense is bogging down well short of Reed's range.

    Considering that 4 of the Steelers' five losses have been by 7, 3, 3 and 7 points respectively, I'd say that's a problem. One of many.

    -- By contrast, Pittsburgh's defense was number one before the Jacksonville game in all of the same categories listed above for the offense except four: turnovers per drive, .138 (21st), INTs per drive, .058 (30th), fumbles per drive, .080 (9th), and average line of scrimmage for opponent, 29.43 (13th)

    -- In fact, the Steelers do not have a single player in the top 50 NFL interception leaders. Pittsburgh is 11th in the league in terms of turnover ratio, with +3, but dead last in the league in interceptions, with 9.

    Bottom Line:

    So in all, the Steelers are bogging down offensively by running to their weakness, giving up a stupefying number of sacks and furthermore are not getting turnovers, especially interceptions. Positive movement in any one of those factors could easily result in a different record.

    I'll conclude this rather verbose statistical headache with my own stat. Against New England, the Steelers were in the red zone 4 times and scored 6 points. If the Steelers score touchdowns on each of those possessions and convert the PATs (Reed is a perfect 36 for 36 on the season), your final score against the best team in the league is 35-34, Steelers.
    Last edited by Iron City South; 12-21-2007 at 12:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Steelersfan's Avatar
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    Too early in the morning for me to look at all that.......lol

    But most of it makes sense and shows where this team struggles.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    There's only 1 stat that needs to be examined as to why our offense struggles and it's not Willie Parker. It's the OFFENSIVE LINE.

    We live and die by our front 5 just like every other team in the league; until we get 5 guys that can play well together, block, and open holes with any consistency we're going struggle. I don't care if you have Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, and Emmitt Smith back there we need guys that can block and then the rest of it will fall into place.

    Our offense is not as bad as people think, we can score points and we have done so all year. That's a testament to Ben , Hines, Holmes, Willie, heath and every other weapon that came through when our OL didn't block. We don't need Ben to have stats like Brady or Manning, his stats are fine and the best in Team history this year. People need to chill out and wake up about our offense. Our offense is fine with the exception of the OL that needs some retooling.

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    AZ_Steeler's Avatar
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    It's hard to argue facts when they are laid out like that and right in front of you. The oline does have issues but I can't blame all the sacks on them. Ben does tend to hang on to the ball sometimes looking for that big play or perfect pass... maybe he should get that internal clock of his checked out

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Ben defintely needs to work in getting rid of the ball quicker, that much is definitely clear and hopefully Kenny Anderson will work on that with him as well. When the offensive line is letting defenders through like turnstyles on a regular basis it blows up any running play before it even gets started and causes Ben to run for his life before the WR's can even get half way into their routes and by the time they turn around he's already on his back. Once we get this OL fixed this offense will score even more points and be even more potent, bank on it

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    If it wasn't for our O-line being so lack luster we would have another ace in the hole with Miller for recieving than to have to use him as a blocker.
    "It is hard to wait around for something that you know may never happen;but it's even harder to let go when it's everything you want"
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  7. #7
    2nd String
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    i agree with u but at the same time if we don't get an legit o-line n there ben will become shell shocked like c.frye, tim ouch etc............we need an real o-line coach an we need an real o-line

  8. #8
    We Got Five! Hburg's Avatar
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    Willie Parker is not an every down back. Willie Parker is not a run up the middle back (especially when there is no middle...only a collapse of O-line). He is a fastback (aka Mustang) that when allowed to run around the corner or through a hole (when the O-line works) can explode and surprise a defense. When he is used on every down...defenses learn how to stop him and worse, force fumbles.

    Najeh Davenport is not a power back. He is not an every down back. He is a fatter Willie that manages to look stronger by spinning like a top when defenses attempt to tackle him.

    Davis and Russel are unproven...and that is devastating when faced with a possibility of playing in the playoffs and having no set running game. In essense the Steelers have no strong running game (of any sort: fast or smashmouth) and have an offensive line that is comparable to the turnstiles at Disneyworld.

    The defense for the Steelers has begun to struggle for the same reason that it struggled last year...the offense is unable to maintain posession of the ball long enough for the defense to rest.

    BuFu

  9. #9
    Veteran GoBenGo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOP GUN View Post
    Ben defintely needs to work in getting rid of the ball quicker, that much is definitely clear and hopefully Kenny Anderson will work on that with him as well. When the offensive line is letting defenders through like turnstyles on a regular basis it blows up any running play before it even gets started and causes Ben to run for his life before the WR's can even get half way into their routes and by the time they turn around he's already on his back. Once we get this OL fixed this offense will score even more points and be even more potent, bank on it

    Quote Originally Posted by Hburg View Post
    Willie Parker is not an every down back. Willie Parker is not a run up the middle back (especially when there is no middle...only a collapse of O-line). He is a fastback (aka Mustang) that when allowed to run around the corner or through a hole (when the O-line works) can explode and surprise a defense. When he is used on every down...defenses learn how to stop him and worse, force fumbles.

    Najeh Davenport is not a power back. He is not an every down back. He is a fatter Willie that manages to look stronger by spinning like a top when defenses attempt to tackle him.

    Davis and Russel are unproven...and that is devastating when faced with a possibility of playing in the playoffs and having no set running game. In essense the Steelers have no strong running game (of any sort: fast or smashmouth) and have an offensive line that is comparable to the turnstiles at Disneyworld.
    The defense for the Steelers has begun to struggle for the same reason that it struggled last year...the offense is unable to maintain posession of the ball long enough for the defense to rest.

    BuFu
    somebody say turnstyles....

    FWIW...they did run-block well last night...got F44D into the secondary( i know it was the rams, sheesh, just tryin to put some lipstick on this pig)...
    maybe they can tackle
    "Like a midget at a urinal, I knew I had to be on my toes." - Lt. Frank Drevin

  10. #10
    Waterboy
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    The short version of this is that our OC is an idiot. Why in hell did we ever hire an OC who had worked for the browns?

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