Steelers mix and match defensive pieces in last Sunday's Chargers game | Steel City Underground

Steel City Underground

Pittsburgh Steelers LB L.J. Fort

Each week we’ll take a look at the composition of the Steelers wins and losses (and ties too) by examining the team’s snap counts on offense and defense. Here’s a look at the makeup of last week’s game.

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Player Snaps Pct
Foster 68 100%
DeCastro 68 100%
Villanueva 68 100%
Feiler 68 100%
Pouncey 68 100%
Roethlisberger 68 100%
Brown 67 99%
Smith-Schuster 60 88%
Conner 49 72%
McDonald 44 65%
James 33 49%
Switzer 24 35%
Hunter 18 26%
Samuels 17 25%
Heyward-Bey 13 19%
Grimble 7 10%
Okorafor 5 7%
Nix 3 4%

The Steelers had some interesting changes to their snap counts during Sunday night’s loss to the LA Chargers. A few of the moves came at the hands of injuries, while others were scheme changes.

Those changes were mostly on the defensive side of the ball, as you can tell from the snap counts above. In fact, the only major things to point out is that Matt Feiler returned in place of Marcus Gilbert, who continues to rehab an injury at the right tackle position, and that James Conner left the game to make way for Jaylen Samuels at running back.

Vance McDonald also had more of a split with Jesse James than what has been the case in recent weeks, but this is also likely due to McDonald showing up on the injury report last week.

Absent is rookie WR James Washington, who was inactive on Sunday. Justin Hunter took his place, seeing his first action in over four weeks. Unfortunately, Hunter was injured in the game and has been placed on IR, ending his season.

Embed from Getty Images


Player Snaps Pct
Sensabaugh 63 100%
Edmunds 62 98%
Davis 62 98%
Haden 62 98%
Dupree 54 86%
Fort 52 83%
Watt 52 83%
Heyward 51 81%
Hilton 50 79%
Williams 46 73%
Tuitt 45 71%
Hargrave 33 52%
Allen 17 27%
Chickillo 11 17%
Bostic 11 17%
Alualu 11 17%
Adeniyi 10 16%
Burns 1 2%

As noted, the defensive side of the ball saw the most changes from game-to-game, and even over a long period of time. The first to note is the inclusion of two rookies making their first appearances of the season. LB Ola Adeniyi and S Marcus Allen played their first games of 2018, with Allen replacing the injured Morgan Burnett. Adeniyi was activated from injured reserve on Saturday.

Another major change on defense was the rise of LB L.J. Fort who played more than he has all season. Fort’s previous high was 44% in Week 9. This took a huge chunk out of Jon Bostic’s playing time, as the starting inside linebacker sat for all but 11 of the Steelers 63 defensive plays.

Artie Burns entered the field for a single play when Joe Haden entered the concussion protocol following a Chargers touchdown. Anthony Chickillo was banged up during the game while Daniel McCullers didn’t see the field Sunday, something which has rarely happened this season.


Statistics courtesy of the National Football League

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