The Pittsburgh Steelers have as much talent as any great team in the NFL. The only difference, is that they aren’t able to adjust.
Watching the Steelers come out to a 23-7 lead to start Sunday Night Football looked like the Pittsburgh Steelers we all love to watch. This team was fired up, playing with an edge and proving quickly they aren’t letting a loss to Denver linger.
But as all great teams do, the Chargers adjusted. They went into halftime, came out with a new gameplan, and executed. Something Pittsburgh should’ve done as well.
This season, watching the Steelers begin to lose their momentum is like watching a roller coaster come to a stop. As soon as it begins to die down there’s nothing trying to get it back. It just accepts this is the end and begins to decline radically until it’s sitting still.
This is not on the players.
Coming into the second half, you realized quick that two things were very wrong. One, the running game just wasn’t a thing anymore. And two, for some reason, Keith Butler decided his linebackers were good enough to cover Keenan Allen.
We’ll start with the running game – James Conner’s 15 rushes for 60 yards and two touchdowns is a stat line that seems good but is very overlooked. Conner was almost no where to be found in the second half. Once the Chargers started to score, Pittsburgh continued to try and match the momentum by passing on almost every down.
It was like Conner was completely removed from the game plan at halftime. A similar look to the Steelers’ offense in Week 12 when they lost to Denver.
Whoever’s been deciding that Conner isn’t a member of this offense once the other team starts to score needs to look at the film. When the running game is going this offense is clicking. When it’s not, they can’t seem to do anything. Two losses in a row should be enough evidence to make that assumption.
Then, there’s the defense. Keith Butler’s decision to let the linebackers cover Keenan Allen more than defensive backs cost them points and momentum. Every time the Chargers were faced with a third down, it was like Keenan Allen was just standing around waiting for Phillip Rivers to see him.
The defensive backs didn’t do much better, but a player of that talent should be covered by Joe Haden almost all of the time. You watched and watched but no adjustments were made. It was like every Steelers’ fan sitting on their couches were screaming for something to get done and time and time again, nothing was.
There’s a pressing concern in Pittsburgh and it’s not the players. The coaching staff needs to be held responsible for the last two games. Better play calling, better schemes, better adjustments and this season is totally different.