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View Full Version : Steelers run on 80% of 1st down plays


tony hipchest
09-16-2008, 05:04 PM
kirwan on sirius stated that of the steelers 50 1st down plays this season they have ran the ball 40 times. a blow out vs houston dictates this and the weather in cleveland also does. willie kicking ass is another factor.

but are we setting up teams to possibly over-prepare for the run? is a heavy dose of play action deep shots in the mix? will we totally screw with a team if we come out 4 wide (3wr/1te) and in the no huddle?

i heard earlier this week that arians scripts the 1st 30 plays of a game and he and ben get together to weed out what ben dont like.

are we up to some calculating gameplanning or are we just going to continue to run the formula that has worked to this point. (im trying to figure what philly's jim johnson is thinking as he prepares for the steelers).

do we play chess or continue to play the predictable smashmouth style?

MACH1
09-16-2008, 05:17 PM
I think a lot depends on how well he thinks the line can protect Ben against the blitz.

VTsteel
09-16-2008, 05:21 PM
do we play chess or continue to play the predictable smashmouth style?


Good question . . . Personally I hope we stick to smashing it down our opponents throats. However, I truly hope we are unpredictable enough to keep defenses guessing a little. I am a run to set up the pass kinda guy - and we have the best QB in the league - So, when we do pass and use a variety of formations - I expect we will be very successful.

Compound this with our stifling, aggressive and violent defense . . .

We should see a lot of success. :tt02:

NJarhead
09-16-2008, 05:21 PM
I think that so far it's been purely situational (running that clock). Plus that's our "M.O." anyway. We've been doing it, and doing it well for yeeaaars. :tt02:

Preacher
09-16-2008, 05:24 PM
kirwan on sirius stated that of the steelers 50 1st down plays this season they have ran the ball 40 times. a blow out vs houston dictates this and the weather in cleveland also does. willie kicking ass is another factor.

but are we setting up teams to possibly over-prepare for the run? is a heavy dose of play action deep shots in the mix? will we totally screw with a team if we come out 4 wide (3wr/1te) and in the no huddle?

i heard earlier this week that arians scripts the 1st 30 plays of a game and he and ben get together to weed out what ben dont like.

are we up to some calculating gameplanning or are we just going to continue to run the formula that has worked to this point. (im trying to figure what philly's jim johnson is thinking as he prepares for the steelers).

do we play chess or continue to play the predictable smashmouth style?

Tony...

I think you're right... it is calculated game planning. Whenever people think of Pittsburgh, they think run... still. Let's keep it that way.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-16-2008, 05:30 PM
Did Kirwin go on to say how many other 2-0 teams ran on first down a large percentage of the time??

Tennesee, NE, Dallas to name a few??

To state that teams run on 1st down a lot of the time is like telling me that Keyshawn Johnson isnt gonna split the atom.

Penn St Steelers
09-16-2008, 05:41 PM
Good question . . . Personally I hope we stick to smashing it down our opponents throats. However, I truly hope we are unpredictable enough to keep defenses guessing a little. I am a run to set up the pass kinda guy - and we have the best QB in the league - So, when we do pass and use a variety of formations - I expect we will be very successful.

Compound this with our stifling, aggressive and violent defense . . .

We should see a lot of success. :tt02:


I totally agree, nothing more fulfilling then watching a OL totally control and dictate a DL (manhandle is what I'm trying to say)........I hope we mix it up a bit, as stated to keep them on their heels..... I hope we don't become a pass 1st run 2nd though....I don't think that's a strong suit....I do hope to see some trick plays though, like a end around with Holmes/Ward etc.........

revefsreleets
09-16-2008, 06:03 PM
I effing guarantee you this: As long as we win, this will be fine, but the FIRST game we lose Arians will be crucified for being an idiot and not passing enough.

I'd prefer us as a 60 run/40 pass team. It means we control the clock and the pace of the game, and keep our D off the field. If running on first nets anything higher than 3 yards, and we end up averaging 3rd and less than 3, we'll win 95% of our games.

And if we run successfully, our passing game will be that much more effective. I'd even venture to say that if all of the above occurs, Ben will complete 70% or better of his passes this year.

Penn St Steelers
09-16-2008, 06:07 PM
I'd prefer us as a 60 run/40 pass team. It means we control the clock and the pace of the game, and keep our D off the field. If running on first nets anything higher than 3 yards, and we end up averaging 3rd and less than 3, we'll win 95% of our games. .


:tt03:...Amen

The Duke
09-16-2008, 06:48 PM
I effing guarantee you this: As long as we win, this will be fine, but the FIRST game we lose Arians will be crucified for being an idiot and not passing enough.



what are you talkin about? this place will be full with mahan hate :chuckle:

you know what's the best thing about all this? willie can run against anyone, but if that fails we know we have a great qb( maybe best in the league.....) who can win us the game

keep running willie, and when we need ben to sling it he'll get the job done

oh, but he's just a game manager!! we're screwed.....

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-16-2008, 07:08 PM
what are you talkin about? this place will be full with mahan hate :chuckle:
.....

Yeah, Mahan Sucks!!

Because we have a new center that can block, we CAN run 80%of the time and win! :wink02:

Actually, I rewatched the game and Hartwig onetime had Rogers on a tandem block, but was tossed when his help left. Another time, Hartwig had Rogers solo and pushed him off the LOS, until Kemo came along and put Rogers on his A$$!! Hartwig is definately stronger.

Oh yeah, and Arians is the cause of escalating fuel prices too.

lilyoder6
09-16-2008, 08:09 PM
look at the texans game for instance.. our running game was so dominant we only had to pass 14 times.. if we can do that every game no doubt we'll be sitting pretty.. but also good to know we can come out of the gate and pass first if need be

X-Terminator
09-16-2008, 09:01 PM
Why do I see the Steelers running the no-huddle spread with Ben in the shotgun a lot this week? To me, it would be a good way to counter Philly's aggressive defense - if they constantly have to worry about being burned in the passing game while making them run all over the field, it could temper their pass rush a bit. Then, once their pass rush is tempered, you can go back to a more conventional formation and run the ball right at them.

Galax Steeler
09-17-2008, 03:35 AM
I would love to see them come out with a play action pass to start the game this week and loosen up the deffense so we can run the ball.

stlrtruck
09-17-2008, 07:45 AM
kirwan on sirius stated that of the steelers 50 1st down plays this season they have ran the ball 40 times. a blow out vs houston dictates this and the weather in cleveland also does. willie kicking ass is another factor.

but are we setting up teams to possibly over-prepare for the run? is a heavy dose of play action deep shots in the mix? will we totally screw with a team if we come out 4 wide (3wr/1te) and in the no huddle?

i heard earlier this week that arians scripts the 1st 30 plays of a game and he and ben get together to weed out what ben dont like.

are we up to some calculating gameplanning or are we just going to continue to run the formula that has worked to this point. (im trying to figure what philly's jim johnson is thinking as he prepares for the steelers).

do we play chess or continue to play the predictable smashmouth style?

It's all a setup my friend. We're going to keep with status quo until Nov 30, then all of Steelers Nation and the world will laugh as we take every single game ball, shine it up real nice like, turn them sideways, and shove it up Kraft, Belichick, Brady, and every other patriots* player's arse!!!

If you smellllllllllllllll, what the TRUCK is cooking!!! :toofunny:

Seriously, I believe game situations have dictated what Arians is calling so he's playing it safe when he has to without opening up his game plan to early in the season. I think that when we get into some of the heavier games (colts, chargers, patriots*, cowboys), then you'll see the oopps, I thought it was a run but it's a 50 yards in the air to Holmes TD play as my front 8 were shoving Parker backwards for a 5 yard loss.

cubanstogie
09-17-2008, 08:24 AM
I love the smash mouth running game. I think it demoralizes the Defense when they can't stop it. Plus it saves Ben from getting banged up, keeps opponents out of rhythm. I used to want to see Ben throw 35 times and put up Manning numbers due to all the Ben haters and critics. I am way passed that now. Ben is as good as it gets, and I am just as happy with the opening day 13-14 completion rate and throwing zero interceptions. I don't care about ignorant people saying he can manage game only ,as long as we win. There will obviously be a time when out running game is stuffed and I have no doubt we will adapt and overcome. I say keep running until stopped, and mix in some play action.

GBMelBlount
09-17-2008, 09:36 AM
I would like to see more passing on 1st downs. Defenses will have to account for that and it will likely improve our yardage when we do choose to run on first downs.

CanadianSteel
09-17-2008, 11:42 AM
Makes Ben's completion percentage, and QB rating all that more impressive being that he passes on passing type downs mostly and not so much on first down...:thumbsup:

the_king_from_leon
09-17-2008, 11:45 AM
whats the percentage for second downs? I wouldnt be surprised to see a massive increase in passing plays for second downs

Felix

OX1947
09-17-2008, 12:14 PM
how bout they win and stay injury free. I could give a rats behind how they do that.

steelreserve
09-17-2008, 12:32 PM
I say they should do ALL FLEAFLICKERS.

I mean, you'd be pretty much guaranteed to catch them off guard eventually. The defense would be going "There's NO WAY they'll run another one. They just did six fleaflickers in a row." But then nope -- another fleaflicker, and some guy is wide open way down the field again.

We would rock with that strategy.

lilyoder6
09-17-2008, 12:49 PM
we could do the cheifs strategy.. r2 p2... lol

run run pass punt...

LVSteelersfan
09-17-2008, 12:54 PM
I think Ben's shoulder dictates the running to some degree. Why put him in a position to get clobbered all the time until he heals up a bit? I just hope they do a lot of the quick 3 step drop and gone passing to help protect Ben. We will not win a high percentage of games with Leftwitch at QB no matter how good the other players are.

tony hipchest
09-17-2008, 10:32 PM
Did Kirwin go on to say how many other 2-0 teams ran on first down a large percentage of the time??

Tennesee, NE, Dallas to name a few??

To state that teams run on 1st down a lot of the time is like telling me that Keyshawn Johnson isnt gonna split the atom.
glad you asked.

kirwan expanded in todays nfl.com article-

http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d80ae2bf7&template=with-video&confirm=true



I Love the expression "You've gotta win on third down." Of course you have to win on third down, but your chances of converting on third down have a lot more to do with what happens on first down.


Through the first two weeks of the season teams have average 26 first-down plays, 20 second-down plays and 13 third-down plays a game. The best plan isn't to win on third down, but rather try to avoid third downs -- and that really means winning on first down.

Thus far in 2008 teams are passing on first down 47 percent of the time. In 2007, the league averaged 48 percent passing on first downs; in 2006, the year-end average was 46 percent. As usual, the league is currently on schedule after two weeks of play. That means, on average, teams run the ball on first down 53 percent of the time. The real question becomes: How many times can your favorite team gain four or more yards on first down, regardless of which way they try to get it done?

Teams that facing big deficits will skew the numbers because they have abandoned the run in an attempt to catch up, but you can go back and look at their first-down rushing production for clues as to how they got in trouble in the first place.

Take a look at Detroit, for example. The Lions desperately want to be a running football team but have only run the ball 18 times in 55 first-down plays, because they have fallen behind 21-0 two weeks in a row. When you drill down further into their first-down runs, you'll note they have gained four or more yards only five times in those 18 attempts. Detroit runs on first down 33 percent of the time and it gains four or more yards 28 percent of the time.

The Lions aren't alone. The Chiefs, who need to run the ball to survive as they continue a major youth movement, hit the NFL average by running it 52 percent of their first downs. Problem is, they have the worst success rate for gaining four or more yards -- making it 20 percent of the time. The same holds true for the Dolphins.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans love to run it on first down. The Steelers have run the ball on 40 of their 50 first downs (80 percent), but have only gained four-plus yards on 12 of those attempts (30 percent). Conversely, Denver has only run the ball on first down 44 percent of the time -- but it has 17 runs of four or more yards on those plays (61 percent).

The Vikings are known as a running team, and their early success on first-down runs might suggest even more calls in that direction. Minnesota has called 32 run plays out of their 57 first downs and hit the 4-plus mark 20 times. Any team that can get to second down and less than 6 yards to go 63 percent of the time should stay on the ground.

Going through the air has been good to some teams on first down. Once again, Denver shows up as an excellent first-down passing team. The Broncos throw it 56 percent of the time and has connected for four or more yards on 62 percent of those throws. Only Peyton Manning and the Colts have the same number of first-down passes of four-plus yards (22), but they have been scrambling to stay in games.

A very interesting team after two weeks is the Buffalo Bills. They are conservative in their first-down play-calling and have only gone to the air on 42 percent of their opportunities -- but they have hit on 62 percent of those passes to create manageable second downs (or even better -- create more first downs).

It's worth a look at the Jets' first-down play selection with Brett Favre under center. Last year with the Packers, Favre threw on first down 51 percent of the time and connected for four-plus yards on 56 percent of those passes. Right now, the Jets run the ball 68 percent of the time on first down and are only hitting the 4-plus mark 46 percent of the time. Some would think Week 3 may be time for more first-down passing from the Jets, but the numbers don't back it up just yet: The Jets with Favre have only gained 4-plus yards on five of their 14 first-down pass attempts (36 percent).

It's no surprise that the Eagles and Cowboys both fared well on first downs in their high-scoring affair on Monday night. After two weeks, the Cowboys average 6.0 yards on all first down plays and the Eagles average 5.2 yards. Good teams convert on third downs because more of those situations are third-and-short as opposed to third-and-long -- and the best offenses manage to avoid any third-down situation as much as possible.


great chart in the link shows conversion rates-
When you examine the success rate of converting second and third downs over the past three years, you can see why getting four-plus yards on first down is the key:. keyshawn johnson isnt gonna deliver this type of data either.