Is the Steelers running game improvement as simple as Broderick Jones?
The Pittsburgh Steelers offense hasn’t had much to hang their hat on this season. In other words, they haven’t had much of an identity throughout the first nine games of the regular season. However, in the past two games the Steelers have seen a resurgence in their running game.
In Week 9 (TNF) vs. Tennessee they rushed for 166 yards, and in the most recent win over the Green Bay Packers the team rushed for 205 yards.
What changed? What did the team do differently to see such a drastic improvement?
Can it be as simple as the insertion of Broderick Jones into the starting lineup? While some might view this as a stretch, the numbers don’t lie. Take a look a the numbers for the three games Jones has started so far this season, one at left tackle and two at right tackle.
The Steelers rushing game
Without Broderick Jones on the field
3.8 Yards per Rush
0.99 Yards before contact per Rush
With Broderick Jones on the field
4.9 Yards per Rush
This dude is throwing people around.
— Jordan Vanek (@JordanVanekDFS) November 13, 2023
Some will point to the Titans and Packers defenses and suggest the Steelers are playing sub-par competition, but the Pittsburgh front was able to move the Packers at will in Week 10, even when they loaded the box in efforts to stop the run. Don’t look now, but the Steelers are starting to find their identity and it will all be surrounding the running game.
Getting back to the crux of this discussion, was the answer Broderick Jones the entire time? I’d say he’s a large part of the success of the ground game, but hardly the only aspect of an improved unit. The team leaning on Jaylen Warren more and more by the week also adds a unique dynamic to the running game. In fact, I’d say the division of labor at running back has also seen an improvement in the running game as well.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how the Steelers do it, as long as they are able to put players in position to win their matchups and create a running game which can hopefully help the offense move the ball and become more dynamic.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comment section, and be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Cleveland Browns in Week 11.