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Statistical Projections on Offense for 2018

QB1 Ben Roethlisberger: 64% Completion 4,467 yards passing, 31 TD / 19INT

Big Ben when healthy is a very consistent and productive player which is why this stat line looks very familiar to last season. One thing I would like to see improvement from him in, is his deep ball statistics. According to Football Outsiders he was ranked #18 among qualified Quarterbacks with only 38% completion, with so many playmakers on offense he should be at the top of this list.

QB2 Joshua Dobbs: 59% Completion, 230 yards passing, 1 TD / 2 INT

Dobbs gets the nod against the Bengals in Week 17 due to the Steelers having clinched a playoff spot.

QB3 Mason Rudolph: N/A

Redshirt Season for Rudolph

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RB1 Le’Veon Bell: Full Season: 311 Attempts / 1,300 Rush Yards / 9 Rush TDs – 62 Receptions / 660 Receiving Yards / 4 Reception TDs

Shortened Season (Assuming a Week 10 Return): 136 Attempts / 568 Rush Yards / 4 Rush TDs – 27 Receptions / 288 Receiving Yards / 2 Reception TDs

Bell is in a contract year and likely his last with the Steelers. In his career he has averaged 19.8 carries and 6.3 targets per game while averaging 86 rush yards and 43 yards receiving per game. These numbers, much like with Ben will typically stay consistent yearly but with his rumored holdout until Week 10 it is possible to see a huge dip in production from the Pro Bowl RB.

RB2 James Conner: With Bell:  53 Attempts / 210 Rush Yards / 1 Rush TD –  3 Receptions / 22 Receiving Yards / 0 Reception TDs

Without Bell: (assuming he shows up after Week 10): 170 Attempts /  646 Rush Yards / 5 Rush TD – 32 Receptions / 213 Receiving Yards / 1 Reception TD

Conner has received a lot of praise from his teammates and coaches over the preseason. Conner rushed for 100 yards on 19 carries with 7 catches for 61 yards in the preseason. He’s taken the first-team reps since training camp opened in late July. Should Bell decide to sit out into the season, Conner would figure to get a very big role in the offense in both the run and pass game.

RB3 Jaylen Samuels: With Bell: 7 Attempts / 29 Rush Yards / 0 Rush TD – 10 Receptions / 48 Receiving Yards / 0 Reception TDs

Without Bell: 31 Attempts / 114 Rush Yards / 1 Rush TD – 21 Receptions / 168 Receiving Yards / 1 Reception TD

Samuels will likely see very limited action this year in the running game but could contribute more in the passing game due to his experience in college as a wide receiver and tight end. Much like with Conner it is possible for Samuels to have a larger role should Bell holdout deep into the season. We could see Samuels utilized frequently in passing situations due to his extensive experience in college playing a receivers role. Conner figures to receive opportunities in the passing game as well but has much less experience in that category. Conner did not catch a pass all of last season and in 3 seasons at Pitt only recorded 30 total receptions.

FB Rosevelt Nix: 3 Attempts / 6 Rush Yards / 0 Rush TD

Not much here statistically. Does his job very well, expect more of the same.

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WR1 Antonio Brown: 113 Receptions / 1520 Receiving Yards / 8 Reception TDs

Expect big things again from AB this season. After missing 3 games last season due to a calf injury, combined with losing to the Jaguars in the AFC Divisional round, Brown is hungry for a championship. On Monday he said just that; “We have to find a way to bring the trophy here. Whatever that entails. Scoring points, whatever that entails, we have to find a way to win.” AB showed us last year on multiple occasions that he can make the plays needed to win games. Last season, we saw him secure the needed field position in the final seconds needed to win games against Baltimore and Green Bay. He also scored clutch touchdowns at the end of games against Kansas City and Cincinnati in 2017. Brown is a once in a generation player, there is no reason to believe he will not be this season.

WR2 JuJu Smith-Schuster: 72 Receptions / 1035 Receiving Yards / 7 Reception TDs

Is JuJu too “LIT” to be a solid producer in his sophomore season? Mark Madden thinks so…I however see him having a great year. With AB consistently requiring multiple defenders it is very safe to assume this will open up much more opportunity for JuJu to succeed. With him still only 21 years old we likely have still not seen the best of him yet. Do not be surprised to see him  exceed the numbers listed.

WR3 James Washington: 41 Receptions / 530 Receiving Yards / 3 Reception TDs

With the departure of Martavis Bryant, it is safe to assume Washington will see a fair amount of targets over the course of 2018. Bryant was targeted 84 times and reeled in 50 receptions a year ago. With Washington being a rookie and falling behind AB and JuJu on the depth chart, I do not see him producing as much as Bryant did a year ago. It is however, reasonable to predict around 65 targets and 40 receptions for the rookie wideout.

WR4 Justin Hunter: 8 Receptions / 70 Receiving yards / 2 Reception TDs

Over the last few seasons we have seen very little production from receivers after number 3 on the depth chart. It is very safe to assume more of the same. Hunter is a quality redzone target but outside of that there will not be many targets to go around

WR5 Darrius Heyward-Bey: 6 Receptions / 52 Receiving Yards / 0 Reception TDs

Heyward-Bey figures to log a few snaps a game for an occasional screen or go route but is likely to be very inactive.

WR6 Ryan Switzer: 12 Receptions / 95 Receiving Yards / 0 Reception TDs

With Switzer it is tough to figure out how big of a factor he will be. With Eli Rogers on the PUP list it is very possible he sees time in the slot but with AB and JuJu able to play that position very well his time will still likely be limited. He does however figure to play a large role on special teams returning punts and kickoffs. Last year he performed well in that role with Dallas where he returned 24 kickoffs for an average of 25 yards and 29 punt returns for an average of 8.8 yards with one touchdown.

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TE1 Vance McDonald: 39 Receptions / 435 Receiving Yards / 2 Reception TDs

I fully expect McDonald to be pretty involved in the offense should he make it through the year without injuries. In limited action last year we saw McDonald flash playmaking potential and it seems as though he had that ability with the 49ers but staying healthy is definitely big issue to keep an eye on.

TE2 Jesse James: 21 Receptions / 195 Receiving Yards / 3 Reception TDs

James is nothing special but he gets the job done and stays healthy. Should McDonald suffer an injury James will undoubtably be the TE1. He has also established himself as a great redzone target due to his size (6 redzone TDs the last 2 years). Look for more of the same here.

TE3 Xavier Grimble: 5 Receptions / 35 Receiving Yards / 0 Reception TDs

Not much opportunity for Grimble to contribute this season.

 

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