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Thread: Penalties and Turn Overs

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    Senior Member Array title="Born2Steel has a reputation beyond repute"> Born2Steel's Avatar

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    Penalties and Turn Overs

    I believe I may have started a thread like this before but I couldnít find one.

    Anyway, there are not many things you can list that helps lose games more then penalties and turn overs. Where you rank in these two catagories does not tell the story, thatís just there because sports people like to rank things. Penalties cone down more to situation over number of. Scores called back, first downs called back(offensive) or first downs gained(defensive) mean so much more than most or least penalized team. The Steelers saw too many penalties this season that either took away big plays(scores, first downs,etc), or gave opponents yards and/or new sets of downs.

    The Steelers averaged 1.6 turn overs per game. Well you canít commit .6 of a turn over so 2 turn overs per game. That means we gave the other team 2 extra possessions per game. I do not know how many points we actually gave up due to those turn overs, but I do know they cost us opportunities to score. And just like with penalties the importance of turn overs can be directly associated with game situations.

    The Steelers were not a good team this season for multiple reasons. However, situational penalties and 2 turn overs per game will make an already bad team look even worse. There are all kinds of stats on turn over margins, plus and minus, take aways vs give aways, etc. Bottom line is we can only control our own turn overs. Untimely penalties need to be met with discipline just like at every other level of football.

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    Re: Penalties and Turn Overs

    https://www.footballdb.com/stats/tur...?yr=2018&conf=

    -11 in turnover differential in 2018



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    Re: Penalties and Turn Overs

    Quote Originally Posted by tube517 View Post
    https://www.footballdb.com/stats/tur...?yr=2018&conf=

    -11 in turnover differential in 2018
    can't expect to do well with a negative turnover differential like that...

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    Senior Member Array title="El-Gonzo Jackson has a reputation beyond repute"> El-Gonzo Jackson's Avatar

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    Re: Penalties and Turn Overs

    Yeah, its another reason I would move on from Butler. Sure if Ben doesnt throw some of those INT, that takes care of the .6 turnovers per game. But the other part of the equation is taking away the football. Sure we need to see INT's, but there are ways to coach tackling to create turnovers and i really dont think that is focused upon as I dont see the product of that kind of coaching. I havent really watched the Seahawks in a while, but they used to tackle the football and try to get it on the ground frequently.

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    Re: Penalties and Turn Overs

    Quote Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
    Yeah, its another reason I would move on from Butler.
    doesn't look like it's gonna happen.

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    Re: Penalties and Turn Overs

    2 Turn overs a game is just sloppy football. The offense has to do a better job of protecting the football. 17 INTs!!! Only the Bills, Cards, 49ers, and Buccs threw more INTs than us. That number must come down.

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    Well there you have it... Array title="NCSteeler has much to be proud of"> NCSteeler's Avatar

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    Re: Penalties and Turn Overs

    Quote Originally Posted by Born2Steel View Post
    I believe I may have started a thread like this before but I couldnít find one.

    Anyway, there are not many things you can list that helps lose games more then penalties and turn overs. Where you rank in these two catagories does not tell the story, thatís just there because sports people like to rank things. Penalties cone down more to situation over number of. Scores called back, first downs called back(offensive) or first downs gained(defensive) mean so much more than most or least penalized team. The Steelers saw too many penalties this season that either took away big plays(scores, first downs,etc), or gave opponents yards and/or new sets of downs.

    The Steelers averaged 1.6 turn overs per game. Well you canít commit .6 of a turn over so 2 turn overs per game. That means we gave the other team 2 extra possessions per game. I do not know how many points we actually gave up due to those turn overs, but I do know they cost us opportunities to score. And just like with penalties the importance of turn overs can be directly associated with game situations.

    The Steelers were not a good team this season for multiple reasons. However, situational penalties and 2 turn overs per game will make an already bad team look even worse. There are all kinds of stats on turn over margins, plus and minus, take aways vs give aways, etc. Bottom line is we can only control our own turn overs. Untimely penalties need to be met with discipline just like at every other level of football.
    Huh, I hear good coaching can help a team have less penalties, especially in situational football

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    Re: Penalties and Turn Overs

    Quote Originally Posted by Born2Steel View Post
    2 Turn overs a game is just sloppy football. The offense has to do a better job of protecting the football. 17 INTs!!! Only the Bills, Cards, 49ers, and Buccs threw more INTs than us. That number must come down.
    Sloppy football , hmm I hear good coaches have players ready to play and not play sloppy.

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    Re: Penalties and Turn Overs

    Penalities may be not quite the disaster zone that is generally believed.

    1. 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers were esssentially penalized at the same rate per play as the rest of the NFL (basically every team is flagged at roughly the same rate) -- https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/sta...lties-per-play

    2. Steelers were square in the middle of the pack in per game calls. Almost the same amount of flags (1.8/game from the most as the least) -- https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/sta...lties-per-game

    3. The problem was, the yards per game. Almost last -- https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/sta...yards-per-game

    4. HOWEVER -- this appears to be off-set by a league leading opponnent penalty yards per game -- https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/sta...yards-per-game

    So, for me, we are back to starting field position and turnovers. As far as I can tell, the Steelers ranked 31st in average starting field position (their own 26) and ranked 2nd to last in takeaways per game (https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/sta...aways-per-game) and 28th in turnover margin per game (https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/sta...argin-per-game). You can look at it almost anyway you want, and the offense gave the ball up too much and the defense was atrocious at taking it away. Combine that with needing to go 70-90 yards every time you touched the ball and it isn't hard to see why every game was a nailbiter and the margin for error was basically zero.

    Also, the lack of short fields, may explain why Steelers were near the top of the league in plays run per game (https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/plays-per-game) which could also explain why the offense often stagnated. Perhaps Fichtner repeated himself a bit too much allowing defenses to start to get patterns and keys locked in as the game wore on. Again, hopefully the Steelers are self-scouting this and the addition of new assistant coaches needs to have some time devoted to this concept.

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    Re: Penalties and Turn Overs

    Quote Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
    Yeah, its another reason I would move on from Butler. Sure if Ben doesnt throw some of those INT, that takes care of the .6 turnovers per game. But the other part of the equation is taking away the football. Sure we need to see INT's, but there are ways to coach tackling to create turnovers and i really dont think that is focused upon as I dont see the product of that kind of coaching. I havent really watched the Seahawks in a while, but they used to tackle the football and try to get it on the ground frequently.
    I think this is true also. But you don’t expect to depend on defensive turn overs. I think there should be more emphasis on “tackling the ball” as well. I also see an issue with a low defensive INT rate. These are things we can improve on. Committing fewer turn overs, and fewer drive killer penalties are a must improve on. Minus 11 in turn over ratio and over 1000 yards in penalties negates pretty much our entire rushing production for the season. That is a big self inflicted handicap.

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    Re: Penalties and Turn Overs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojouw View Post
    Penalities may be not quite the disaster zone that is generally believed.

    1. 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers were esssentially penalized at the same rate per play as the rest of the NFL (basically every team is flagged at roughly the same rate) -- https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/sta...lties-per-play

    2. Steelers were square in the middle of the pack in per game calls. Almost the same amount of flags (1.8/game from the most as the least) -- https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/sta...lties-per-game

    3. The problem was, the yards per game. Almost last -- https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/sta...yards-per-game

    4. HOWEVER -- this appears to be off-set by a league leading opponnent penalty yards per game -- https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/sta...yards-per-game

    So, for me, we are back to starting field position and turnovers. As far as I can tell, the Steelers ranked 31st in average starting field position (their own 26) and ranked 2nd to last in takeaways per game (https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/sta...aways-per-game) and 28th in turnover margin per game (https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/sta...argin-per-game). You can look at it almost anyway you want, and the offense gave the ball up too much and the defense was atrocious at taking it away. Combine that with needing to go 70-90 yards every time you touched the ball and it isn't hard to see why every game was a nailbiter and the margin for error was basically zero.

    Also, the lack of short fields, may explain why Steelers were near the top of the league in plays run per game (https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/plays-per-game) which could also explain why the offense often stagnated. Perhaps Fichtner repeated himself a bit too much allowing defenses to start to get patterns and keys locked in as the game wore on. Again, hopefully the Steelers are self-scouting this and the addition of new assistant coaches needs to have some time devoted to this concept.

    Very well done. A lot of info here and I will need to read some of it in more detail. As for penalties, I am very much concerned when I see scores called back, or first downs negated to 3rd and long, or when we can’t get the defense off the field on 3rd down due to giving away an automatic 1st down. These represent additional possessions for the other team as much as turn overs do.

    Very interesting points on field position and the effect late in the game.

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    Re: Penalties and Turn Overs

    Quote Originally Posted by Born2Steel View Post
    Very well done. A lot of info here and I will need to read some of it in more detail. As for penalties, I am very much concerned when I see scores called back, or first downs negated to 3rd and long, or when we can’t get the defense off the field on 3rd down due to giving away an automatic 1st down. These represent additional possessions for the other team as much as turn overs do.

    Very interesting points on field position and the effect late in the game.
    I wasnt able to parse the penalty data to get at first downs taken away, points off the board, or "drive killers" (a penalty that turns 3rd and 3 into 3rd and 15). I suspect the information is out there, but I didn't have the patience to dig it out. Wish someone would.

    I really do think that part of the problem with second half and late game offense was Fichtner/Ben repeating themselves. Nothing to base that on and have no real data, but it is a suspicion I have.

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    Re: Penalties and Turn Overs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojouw View Post
    I wasnt able to parse the penalty dataes to get at first downs taken away, points off the board, or "drive killers" (a penalty that turns 3rd and 3 into 3rd and 15). I suspect the information is out there, but I didn't have the patience to dig it out. Wish someone would.

    I really do think that part of the problem with second half and late game offense was Fichtner/Ben repeating themselves. Nothing to base that on and have no real data, but it is a suspicion I have.
    I think that is a valid suspicion. Film study on tendencies is absolutely a real thing. Ben is probably as much a creature of habit as anyone.

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    Re: Penalties and Turn Overs

    Timing is everything.

    Ben throwing an INT in first or second down (when he “could” throw it away) when in the red-zone is not just a turnover, but a missed FG attempt.

    Turning the ball over with less than two minutes remaining does not allow for “recovery”.

    Allowing “75-yard TD-drives” at the end of games does not allow for “recovery”.

    Getting called for PI on fourth-down with the game on the line... snatches defeat from victory.

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