In the Pittsburgh Steelers week 17 win against the Seattle Seahawks, their offense was firing on all cylinders. They set a season-high in yardage (468) while notching their second straight 30 point performance. The execution was fantastic and the game-plan from co-offensive coordinators Eddie Faulkner and Mike Sullivan was well planned. With an injury-depleted defense, the Steelers needed a big-time performance from the other side of the ball and they delivered. Several things stood out on film that led to their success.
Increased Usage of 13 Personnel
Since Mike Sullivan took over play calling duties in week 12, we’ve seen a steady rise in multi-tight end sets. Against the Seahawks, they deployed 13 personnel (1WR-3TE-1RB) on a dozen plays, all of which were called runs. These were extremely successful, with Pittsburgh gaining a whopping 75 yards and scoring three touchdowns out of this grouping. There have only been two instances this season where an NFL team used 13P more according to Sports Info Solutions. The intent here was pretty simple: they wanted to bully Seattle in the trenches and run the ball up the middle.