Pittsburgh Steelers offensive player stat predictions for 2019
2018 season stats: 215 carries, 973 yards, 4.5 ypc, 12 TD, 55 rec, 497 yards, 1 rec TD
2019 stat prediction: 269 carries, 1,198 yards, 4.4 ypc, 14 TD, 62 rec, 544 yards, 2 rec TD
James Conner was a beast on the ground at times last season. He has the ability to carry the load and run the ball down the throat of the defense. Unfortunately, Conner hasn’t been able to stay healthy in each of his first two NFL seasons.
The Steelers are still going to use Conner as a feature back, but he is unlikely to run the ball 300+ times like some people are thinking. Mike Tomlin is going to try to preserve his body if and when the Steelers reach the playoffs. Expect an uptick in touches and overall production, but nothing near the level Le’Veon Bell saw in 2017.
2018 season stats: 56 carries, 256 yards, 4.6 ypc, 0 TD, 26 rec, 199 yards, 3 rec TD
2019 stat prediction: 78 carries, 353 yards, 4.5 ypc, 2 TD, 34 rec, 286 yards, 1 rec TD
Jaylen Samuels stands to see a much more significant role this season. He clearly outplayed Benny Snell during the preseason and looks like a capable option behind James Conner.
Samuels will spell Conner every now and then, but much of his contributions will come in the passing game. Expect the Steelers to use the former college tight end all over the field in an effort to help fill the void in the passing attack.
2019 stat prediction: 24 carries, 89 yards, 3.7 ypc, 1 TD, 5 rec, 39 yards, 0 rec TD
Snell was thoroughly disappointing in preseason, as he averaged a dismal 1.9 yards per carry on 28 attempts. The Kentucky product is still very young, and Le’Veon Bell didn’t exactly hit the ground running right away (3.5 yards per carry as a rookie).
However, Jaylen Samuels is securely in the number two running back spot for now. I don’t see Snell getting a lot of action this year. Expect a ‘Stevan Ridley’-type backup role for him.