Snap counts highlight pass-happy Steelers offense in loss to Broncos

Injuries aside, the totality of the Steelers makeup of sub packages and players didn’t alter much in Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos. There was a surprise switch on offense, but most of the key differences between the Denver game, and the Steelers preceding road game at Jacksonville, had to deal with injuries.

Let’s dive into the numbers from last Sunday.

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Player Snaps Pct
Foster 78 100%
Okorafor 78 100%
Villanueva 78 100%
DeCastro 78 100%
Roethlisberger 78 100%
Pouncey 78 100%
Brown 72 92%
Conner 67 86%
Smith-Schuster 66 85%
Switzer 52 67%
James 50 64%
McDonald 33 42%
Washington 18 23%
Grimble 13 17%
Nix 8 10%
Heyward-Bey 7 9%
Samuels 4 5%

That big difference I was talking about? Hello Ryan Switzer!

The receiver the Steelers traded for this offseason continues to integrate into the offense, playing a season-high 52 snaps and exceeding the 50% playing time threshold for the first time in 2018 as well.

Switzer’s high snap count has some wondering if rookie James Washington will be able to make an impact the rest of the season, as a few drops have plagued the second-round draft pick.

An in-game injury to Vance McDonald saw Jesse James climb back into a starring role, as well as the injury sidelining RT Marcus Gilbert, and a new injury to his previous replacement Matt Feiler, paving the way for fourth-round draft pick Chukwuma Okorafor.

Okorafor has seen playing time in 2018, but mostly as a sub package “eligible receiver” when the Steelers attempt to pound the football. He would play the entire game on Sunday.

Darrius Heyward-Bey and Jaylen Samuels continue to see spot duty on a per-play necessary basis.

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Player Snaps Pct
Davis 57 100%
Haden 57 100%
Edmunds 55 96%
Sensabaugh 54 95%
Watt 47 82%
Hargrave 46 81%
Heyward 45 79%
Dupree 41 72%
Bostic 40 70%
Williams 40 70%
Alualu 36 63%
Chickillo 26 46%
Hilton 25 44%
Burnett 18 32%
Fort 17 30%
Walton 14 25%
McCullers 6 11%
Dangerfield 3 5%

The secondary is largely unchanged ever since the benching of Artie Burns and Cameron Sutton. Sean Davis, Terrell Edmunds, Joe Haden, and Coty Sensabaugh rarely leave the field since the bye week.

T.J. Watt left the field for a spell on Sunday to tape his hand. The defensive line had a rotation with Stephon Tuitt out, while Anthony Chickillo continues to see a decent amount of reps in what appears to be a three-man outside linebacker rotation, even with a mix of all three (Watt, Chickillo, and Bud Dupree) on the field at the same time.

The major “winners” on this side of the ball this week were Javon Hargrave, who continues to see a large amount of usage (his 81% of playing time is a season high) and L.T. Walton, who is filling in during Tuitt’s absence after being inactive for several games this year.


Statistics courtesy of the National Football League

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