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  • #31
    O-Line

    Yeah, I don't know why we struggle against 3-4 teams, but it seems like we always have. I like our O-Line, but it is built to be quick and fast. The problem I think we will always have is situation where we have to just drop back and pass. Our Linemen aren't big enough to anchor against an all out pass rush. But if we get bigger along the offensive line, our running game won't be as successful unless we change our system. It's a double edge sword.
    Lway

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Archimedes Owl
      First of all, the Steelers played the following teams in the playoffs this year:

      1. Cincinatti
      2. Indianapolis
      3. Denver
      4. Seattle

      If I were to make a list of the top offensive lines in the league, those four teams would be on the top. The Steelers were able to get pretty good pressure on all four of those excellent lines throughout the playoffs and were able to stop the run as well as any team throughout the season. They allowed the fewest yards per carry over the year with 3.4 yards per carry.

      It is true that the Broncos running game was shut down pretty well against the New England Patriots, but they averaged around 5 yards per carry when they ran it against the Steelers. The Steelers didn't stop the running game on defense. They stopped the running game on offense by putting up too many points for us to be able to stick with the run.

      And while New England did a good job of stopping our running game, it should be noted that over the second half of the year, when they were healthy, they led the league in allowing the fewest yards per carry of any team.

      Still, over the course of the year, even if our running game was slowed a bit in the second half, our running game was the class of the league. We were second in not only total yards, but in yards per carry. The only team to beat us in those categories was Atlanta whose numbers were bolstered by the best running quarterback in the league. We did this despite splitting our carries between two backs that are both pretty good, but are not considered amoung the elite league talents. We also did this despite facing many good run defenses throughout the year. We also allowed the third fewest sacks in the league. Some of that could be because of our mobile quarterback, but that still is pretty good.

      As for the notion that Denver had more trouble running on the 3-4, I question that notion.

      We played the following 3-4 defenses this year:

      San Diego: In the first game, San Diego held us to 3.8 yards per carry and 98 total yards. In the second game, San Diego held us to 3.9 yards per carry and 157 yards. San Diego had some success stopping our running game this year, but they allowed the fewest rushing yards over the course of the season and the second lowest yards per carry. This was despite facing Denver twice, Kansas City twice, NY (NFC) and several other pretty good running teams. Still, in both games, Denver ran for more yards and a higher average than San Diego gave up over the course of the season. Denver was not dominant, but their running game was effective.

      New England: In the regular season game, Denver dominated by running for 178 yards and a 5.2 yards per carry. Of course, New England had a lot of injuries in the game. Over the second half of the season when New England wasn't injured, they allowed the lowest yards per carry average of any team in the league. They did an excellent job of holding Denver to 96 yards on 3.0 yards per carry. They did shut down Denver's running game in the playoff game.

      Dallas: In this game, Denver gained 144 yards on only 20 carries for a very good 7.2 yards per carry. Ron Dayne gained 55 yards on an over time run. Some people have suggested that until that point, Dallas had stuffed Denver's run all day. However, Denver averaged 4.7 yards per carry until that point in the game, so it seems like a stretch that Dallas shut down the running game. I think that is simply a misconception.

      Pittsburgh: In this game, Denver gained 96 yards on 21 carries for 4.6 yards per carry. The Steelers defense did not shut down Denver's running game. It's offense did. Or at least, Denver's running game was shut down by the fact that Pittsburgh had a significant lead.

      Denver averaged 4.45 yards per carry over the course of the year and in the playoffs. This was below their overall average, but they faced San Diego twice, Pittsburgh, New England and Dallas in those games. Pittsburgh ranked first in the league allowing 3.4 yards per carry over the course of the season, San Diego ranked second allowing 3.5 and New England who ranked fourth in yards per carry allowed with 3.6. Dallas, the 3-4 team that Denver did best against, was ranked 23rd in the league. It isn't that Denver did poorly against 3-4 defenses. It is that Denver did better against bad run defenses than good run defenses and the best run defenses that they happened to face were 3-4 defenses.
      Good write-up, Owl. You brought out adeptly that the teams Denver "struggled" against were the best teams in the league, for the most part, at stopping the run. Particulary insightful was your statement that "the Steelers didn't stop the running game on defense. They stopped the running game on offense by putting up too many points for us to be able to stick with the run." Denver's YPA against the Steelers wasn't too shabby.

      Some people made a lot of Denver's alleged ineptness against New England in the postseason game. What they failed to realize, or at least failed to mention, was that New England was not only ranked fourth for the season, but in the latter half of the season they were number one (#1) in stopping the run. Your implication is correct: A team will get better results against a bad or mediocre run defense than it will against a good run defense. So what can one say to another who says that Denver didn't do as well against the better defenses than, "Well, DUH!"

      -----

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      • #33
        tipscribe is samrt. believe him lol
        "If you fumble the ball, I will break off my foot in your John Brown hind parts; and then you will run a mile."My Adopted bronc is Duke Ihenacho

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