It wasn’t a perfect performance by any means – but, Williams provided Pittsburgh with a spark that they didn’t have on offense for the past two weeks.
There’s multiple factors that play into this, so let’s take a look at what Troy brings to the team ahead of their week four matchup against the Birmingham Stallions.
Troy Williams In Week Three
Williams finished the game through the air with these numbers:
10/18 96 yards 5.3YPA 1 TD 89.1 QBR
At first glance, this isn’t the most impressive statline. Heck, Troy didn’t even hit 100 yards on the day. However, there’s more to his game than just passing the football.
Pittsburgh has struggled mightily this season, and it’s largely due to poor offensive line play. When James Morgan was in at QB for the past two weeks, it was tough for him to find a rhythm whatsoever, being pressured often.
Williams, on the other hand, showcased his dual threat capabilities. On Sunday, he ran for 65 yards on just seven carries – averaging 9.3YPC.
Even on plays where he didn’t take off with the ball, Williams was making things happen. His increased mobility allows him to roam free in and out of the pocket – which takes a bit of the pressure off of the offensive line.
Game Plan Moving Forward
The Pittsburgh Maulers offense looked as fluid as it ever has with Troy Williams under center. While there’s plenty of room for improvement, the stark contrast alone in week three compared to the prior two is striking.
Through the first two games, Pittsburgh posted only six offensive points. Against Philadelphia, the Maulers put up 21 – which is 3.5x the amount they had scored all season leading up to that point.
Clearly, Troy Williams played a major role in accomplishing that. As the team prepares for a battle against the defending USFL Champions, there’s a couple of things that must be done in order for them to be successful.
Firstly, Troy must be given freedom to run the ball. The Stars had absolutely zero answers for him on the ground. If he can use his legs to find a rhythm against Birmingham, that opens up so many doors for this offense.
Secondly, Ray Horton & Co. should consider running more PA & RPO actions for Williams. The playbook with Troy has to look completely different than it did in weeks one and two. With his mobility, Pittsburgh could absolutely take advantage of the open grass presented to him – just like New Jersey does with De’Andre Johnson.
If the Maulers can establish a strong rushing presence between Williams and Madre London, that’s when the passing attack will come into play. Down the stretch in week three, Troy made a couple of nice throws, including a touchdown to Bailey Gaither which was dropped in the bucket.
Pittsburgh’s wide receiver core features some playmakers. Tre Walker, Bailey Gaither, CJ Turner, etc. are all capable of doing great things. With Troy Williams now at the helm, the possibilities are endless for this unit.
Of course, this offense still has plenty of work to do. They’ve been relatively lackluster in the USFL – struggling to put the ball in the end zone at all (only one offensive TD in three weeks). However, as Troy Williams continues to grow in Horton’s system, expect more from this unit in the near future.
It’s going to be quite the test for Pittsburgh, facing off against a hungry Birmingham Stallions defense on Sunday. Can Troy Williams make that crucial leap? We’ll have to wait and see.