Moving the chains a Steelers strength

Posted Nov. 23, 2011 @ 8:16 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

The Steelers have thrived on third downs this season, ranking among the league leaders in moving the chains. QB Ben Roethlisberger has been very good in these predominately passing situations, completing 52-of-97 attempts, according to STATS, LLC. Second-year WR Antonio Brown has proven to be a reliable target for Roethlisberger, converting an NFL-high 15 first downs on third-down catches per STATS. Overall, Pittsburgh has converted on 66-of-130 third downs (50.8 percent). Multiple factors make the Steelers' offense challenging to stop on third down. Roethlisberger's mobility, arm strength and accuracy allow him to create when the play breaks down. He does not lack capable receivers, and he will utilize all of his targets. Teams trying to defend against the speed of Brown and Mike Wallace on the outside also have to respect the Steelers' pass catchers working the middle of the field. TE Heath Miller and WRs Emmanuel Sanders, Hines Ward and Jerricho Cotchery, all primarily possession targets, have made notable contributions on third down this season.