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Episode Info

Episode Info:


  1. 2018 Upside
  2. 2017 Toxicity Rank
  3. Strength of Schedule
2018 Upside

We spent a lot of time these past two weeks administering a dose of reality about the upcoming season.  While we do have concerns about several positions, the Steelers are still poised like a crazed mongoose in a room full of pythons, ready to strike with the venomous fangs of its vaunted offense, while perhaps the “known unknowns” about the defense will materialize as positives in the upcoming season.  


Steelers Toxicity

"Toxicity" is a somewhat esoteric statistic coined by former NFL head coach Brian Billick.  It refers to the combined turnover differential and big play differential and theoretically gives insight into how teams balance risk and reward in generating and avoiding giving up big plays (plays over 20+ yards) and winning the turnover battle.

Toxic Differential = (Big Plays For - Big Plays Against) + (Takeaways - Giveaways)

In 2017, 12 of the top 16 teams having a positive toxic differential reached the playoffs. Ttwo teams in toxic differential this season met In the NFC title game (Minnesota and Philadelphia).

Steelers ranked 16th in terms of toxicity with a +6 in 2017.


Strength of Schedule

We also talk about the 2018 strength of schedule.  Sharp Football Stats ranked each team's strength of schedule based on their opponents' 2017 statistics. Of course the draft and free agency will have an influence on next year's results. We'll see whether our opponents have become richer in the off season.

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