Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Season in Review: Passing Yards & the Mix

We have taken a look at rushing yards in 2008 (along with points scored and sacks allowed) and now it is time to examine the passing game; and what we found was that the total yardage gained by the Steelers' via the forward pass was far from being remarkable despite the drop in the running game.

As we have done in previous recaps we offer up the raw numbers for the seasons 2000-2008 (inclusive), and compare the production of the Steelers' passing game with the average of all the teams in the NFL:

200020012002200320042005
Pittsburgh2,5433,1133,8323,3042,7202,926
NFL Avg.3,309.193,292.93,395.663,207.133,368.663,255.25

200620072008
Pittsburgh3,7333,0713,301
NFL Avg.3,277.003,248.813,380.53


So 2008 was only the fourth most prolific passing season in the last nine; and with the drop in rushing production this past season ~ to a point where the Steelers performed below the league average ~ as well as the drop in points scored by Pittsburgh, it will surely go down as one of the most mediocre offensive seasons on record (which makes the way the Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII all the more ironic).

To put an icing on this installment we offer a graphical look at rushing and passing production trends side-by-side, along with the NFL averages for both:



What we see quite clearly is that for the first time in the past nine seasons both the running and passing attacks performed below league average during the same season. All things considered the 2008 regular season was extremely tough for the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense.

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