What the Steelers must do to defeat the Browns in week 11
Steelers can win if offensively…
I was in attendance at Heinz Field, and everyone was seeing the same thing I was: incompetent offensive game planning and play calling.
Two tight ends to the left, two receivers to the right, sometimes split the tight end out wide in motion, and then run it up the middle. I counted that concept ran three to four times. The actual formation I’m confident was used more than that.
Randy Fichtner continues to look as bad as the offense has looked. It’s embarrassing. It’s to the point where if they can achieve the first down, it’s almost like it’s a deep throw.
Now I acknowledge Mason Rudolph is not exactly an elite quarterback, and the lack of Conner and Nix is noticeable, but good offensive coordinators find ways to get the ball rolling.
The obvious thing the Steelers need to avoid is turnovers. Two turnovers either spoiled a drive or put points on the board for the Rams. James Washington has become a hot hand, but his fumble in the first half spoiled a drive that saw the offense on a roll and took potential points off the board.
The pass protection has to improve. Yes, statistically, the Steelers have provided good protection on paper, but the Rams had their way for the most part. The Browns won’t be any easier to deal with.
The presence of Conner helps not only the run game but also the passing game. The issue after these two aspects is a predictable, stagnant offense. If I see the same plays ran out of the same formations more than once, wouldn’t one think it’s time to make changes?
I get that a lot of fans are frustrated with the drop off from Big Ben to Mason, and yes, Mason has to do better. It doesn’t help him that his OC has an inability to game plan effectively and exposes his young skill players.
Better play calling and game planning could be what the Steelers offense needs, but Randy may not be able to provide that.