3 reasons Steelers running game is now non-existent

James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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The Steelers couldn’t move the ball on the ground against the Cowboys in Week 9. Here’s why fans have cause for concern.

Prior to Week 9, the Dallas Cowboys were dead last in the league in rushing yards allowed per game. The middle of their defense was a gaping hole you could drive a truck through. But that all changed when they played the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

The Steelers have not been known as a run-first football team since the days of Jerome Bettis and Willie Parker. In Ben Roethlisberger’s later years, they have been a pass-happy team that has excelled in slinging the ball. But not being able to run against a shaky Dallas defense is more than a little concerning.

Though James Conner has had three games this season in which he eclipsed 100 rushing yards, it’s worth noting that those came in the first five games of the season against Denver, Houston, and Cleveland. Recently, however, the run game has been non-existent.

The question is why?

While Pittsburgh, for the most part, abandoned the run early against the Dallas Cowboys, they were having no success before essentially scratching it from the playbook, and the longest run of the afternoon came from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on an 8-yard scramble.

Though I’m not opposed to spreading teams out and passing the ball more, the Steelers will need to have a more efficient run game moving forward if they want to have a well-balanced offense heading into the playoffs. Here are three reasons Pittsburgh’s running game has been so inefficient: