The Steelers They lost a close match in the second week, but it wasn’t even close to the final score, and the Patriots haven’t been a fully featured team this year. It definitely looks like the Steelers won a crazy upset in week one, then lost a match they should have easily won in week two. Let’s dive into the individuals who were a part of it.
The attacking and midfield played the entire game, which is usually a good thing, but a large section of the fan base are not happy with Mitch Trubesky playing the whole game. The offense is struggling hard, and the midfielder is the most important position, so it’s understandable. But when we look at the use of individuals, one thing that really stands out is that the Steelers continued their reliance on 11 individuals. The Steelers averaged 2.76 receivers per shot, 1.24 tight ends and defending ends. This is a very clear identification. The Steelers ran roughly 11 men in 3/4 of the game.
In 2021, the Steelers were more effective with 12 straights (two ends screwed in back) than three wide receivers, but Ben Roethlisberger was much more comfortable with 11, so they ran more. However, the Steelers continue to use three wide receivers even though the third receiver, George Pickens, has only 26 yards in his first two games, which is less than the Steelers’ top ends and Nagy Harris.
You have to wonder about that use after a prep period filled with several tight end groups and a close game where the running game worked best but still only had 22 loads even with Jaylen Warren taking a decent portion of the workload. Matt Canada’s attacking is best played in a running game and attacking defenses out of play, you’d think this would favor multiple tight final groups, and numbers from 2021 back that up. It’s odd to see the Steelers stick so tightly with three wide receivers in a close game that this group doesn’t work, and Pickens gets targeted once every 16 shots.
There are a lot of issues with the Steelers’ offensive, so sticking with the same thing that didn’t work last season, and it didn’t work this week seems like bullshit. Especially when you “try something different” it will go back to what has been working better consistently.
Cameron Sutton joined the blitz club 100% and all three members are back from week one. Levi Wallace showed that he is the base nickel playing all but 9 of the game’s shots, with Arthur Mullet playing 8 times while Trey Norwood played 6 shots. This results in an average of 5.07 defensive appearances per moment, which means the Steelers were nickel-plated nearly the entirety of the game.
Looking at their inner linebackers, Steelers Miles Jack played most of the game, and Devin Bush and Robert Spellin still split behind him. The Steelers averaged 1.65 inside the midfielder at each moment.
Outside, with TJ Watt out, the Steelers played a rare game where they didn’t average 2 linebackers per shot. Alex Highsmith, Malik Reed, Delontae Scott and Jamir Jones combined an average of 1.69 outside linebackers per shot, meaning that 21 shots were played with only one outside linebacker.
This brings us to the defensive line. We know from the back corner shots that the Steelers had to have 5 defenses on the field for at least 59 of 68 shots (4 played at 100% and Wallace played 59) however, the linebacker averaged 2.59 at each moment.
The Steelers used a defensive line to help mitigate TJ Watt’s loss, and to improve the running defense in their nickel combos. It wasn’t good at the end of the game, but at least the defense looked outside the box to deal with their challenges.