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Old 02-12-2011, 02:47 PM   #1
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Default Emmanuel Sanders = the new go-to guy

A good article I've run across. Which WR bailed us out the most in 3rd and long situations all year? If you said Emmanuel Sanders, you guessed correct.

http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2011/01/21/w...hird-and-long/

Emmanuel Sanders has been a great addition to the Steelers. The rookie has quickly taken over the No. 3 receiver job, and he's shown plenty of signs that he's the heir apparent to Hines Ward -- he even blocks a little like No. 86.

But Sanders' greatest feat is being exceptional on third-and-long. You would think that a rookie wide receiver is not going to get the attention of a veteran quarterback very often in the most difficult of passing situations, but in Sanders' case, he's turned it into an art form.

Five times Ben Roethlisberger has looked for Sanders on third-and-11 or more. Considering the near impossibility of converting third-and-uber-long, if Sanders and Roethlisberger had managed to hook up for one or two first downs, it would be an exceptional performance.

Sanders is 5-for-5. He's converted three third-and-11s, a third-and-13 and a third-and-24. When you consider that the rest of the Steelers' receivers corp has four conversions in 34 third-and 11-plus situations, Sanders' perfection is almost hard to explain.

Ward has been the second most successful on third-and-forever, but the speedy Mike Wallace actually has the most balls thrown his way in those situations.

Brown may only be 1-for-2, but that one catch gets some extra credit considering it was his 58-yard catch to beat the Ravens last week.

Pittsburgh does have one additional third and way-long conversion -- Roethlisberger's hobbled scamper for 18 yards on a third-and-17 against the Bills. He has also been sacked nine times on third-and-11-plus situations, but those are very understandable sacks -- you don't go 10-for-40 on third-and-11-plus without taking some chances. In Roethlisberger's case, his attempts to extend the play make it an all-or-nothing gamble. He'll sometimes get sacked because he tries to buy time for a wide receiver to get open, but on a third and long, it just means the punt is from a little farther back.

Roethlisberger has consistently been the league's best at making the impossible possible. Football Outsiders' stats have him as the league's best on third-and-8 or longer this year (he also was the league's best in 2007). In the four games before Roethlisberger came back, Pittsburgh was 0-for-8.

MAKING IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE
The Steelers have been remarkably good at converting third and 11+ this year. Here's a look at Ben Roethlisberger's targets on those plays.

Player Successful Attempts
Emmanuel Sanders 5 5
Hines Ward 2 7
Mike Wallace 1 8
Heath Miller 0 4
Mewelde Moore 0 3
Antwaan Randle El 0 4
Isaac Redman 0 1
Antonio Brown 1 2
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Emmanuel Sanders = the new go-to guy

i wont say it killed us when he went down in the SB but it definitely hurt. he was gonna be a big part of the gameplan with many 4-5 wr sets, and we certainly struggled on 3rd down.

with woodson out and him in there we woulda had matchup advantages all over the field. im thinking he woulda been bens go-to guy on that final drive.
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Emmanuel Sanders = the new go-to guy

Stories are coming out that in addition to being lost on the last drive Wallace ran a poor route on the deep Roethlisberger over throw that would have put the Steelers up 24-21 and Brown apparently badly ran a terrible route when Ben threw to Brown in the first quarter, after which Roethlisberger rarely threw to Brown - so the loss of Sanders definitely hurt since the moment may have been too big for the other young WRs

But of course so did the loss of Shields and Woodson for Green Bay - while rewatching the game I noticed on the last Steelers TD drive you could see the seams where the sections of turf were not even the same color - the condition of that field did not help anyone - epic fail by Dallas in general and Jerry Jones in particular as hosts
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Emmanuel Sanders = the new go-to guy

I agree with every post in this thread.

Sanders breaking his foot definitely hurt the offense.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Emmanuel Sanders = the new go-to guy

How is Sanders doing? I know he was hurt early in the game. Hope he is OK, any updates?
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Emmanuel Sanders = the new go-to guy

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How is Sanders doing? I know he was hurt early in the game. Hope he is OK, any updates?
broken foot, he's expected to have surgery in the offseason and be healthy before training camp.

i'm expecting great things from this kid in the future, he's a lot like hines ward with speed.
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Emmanuel Sanders = the new go-to guy

Sanders and Brown will be a great compliment to Wallace in the future. These guys developed tremendously over the course of the year.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Emmanuel Sanders = the new go-to guy

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Sanders and Brown will be a great compliment to Wallace in the future. These guys developed tremendously over the course of the year.
yep. though i'm less confident that brown will be a breakout player. he's got good speed but doesn't seem to get it when it comes to route running. he'll be that guy to watch out for big plays (a la nate washington, but better because he can actually catch) but sanders is looking to clearly be the #2 or #1 guy.

Would it be a stretch to think that sanders might lead the steelers in receptions next season? I like wallace, but judging by what I've seen this season from sanders, he'll be the next steeler wr that goes for 70+ catches a season (like ward was)
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: Emmanuel Sanders = the new go-to guy

There is much to learn to go from average to good. A QB like BR7 makes wideouts look good. As does any Franchise Gunslinger. We will see if these guys can take the next step.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Emmanuel Sanders = the new go-to guy

The young money crew should be amazing next year! Ward as Old Money is too funny!

I really wanted to see more from Brown though after Sanders went down. Until that point, i really saw them as interchangeable. Now, it's clear that Sanders was better. Brown WAS awesome as a return man though! Regardless, we look pretty good at WR for a while!
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