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.
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.
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