ESPN North blogger James Walker has an interesting piece on the site today about the AFC North and how the teams in the division do a little too much running – except one- the Steelers. This is a pretty interesting article considering how many of our very readers think the team doesn’t run the ball enough:
When it comes to the AFC North, the Pittsburgh Steelers, directly or indirectly, were ahead of the curve.
Despite their lengthy history of ground-and-pound football, the Steelers began passing the ball more often than running it the past two seasons. That included most of their title run in 2008 when the fate of the season rested on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s arm down to the last drive in Super Bowl XLIII.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Pittsburgh had the highest pass percentage in the division this past season by a sizable margin. The Steelers threw the football 57.8 percent of the time and ran just 42.2 percent of time.
As a result, Roethlisberger became Pittsburgh’s first 4,000-yard quarterback, and Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes also gained more than 1,000 yards receiving.
Many have criticized offensive coordinator Bruce Arians for gradually changing Pittsburgh’s longstanding identity. But the Steelers are adjusting with the times and remain ahead of the curve in the AFC North in terms of putting together a high-powered offense. Pittsburgh was ranked seventh offensively in the NFL last season.
“That Steeler offense is a handful for anyone, and they will probably be better than ever next year,” Williamson said. “They can throw with most teams, and I think they can run.”
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