Steelers: New year, same offense with serious problems
By Kody Duncan
With the Steelers naming Matt Canada as offense coordinator, there was hope for the 2021. After just two games, nothing seems to have changed.
In 2020, the Pittsburgh Steelers only scored a total of 416 points.
This was ranked last among AFC division champions and second to last overall including the NFC. The offense under Randy Fichtner was ranked only 24th in total yards in the NFL, and Pittsburgh also only averaged 5.1 yards per play last year, which put the team in the bottom tier of the league at 26th overall.
Even the last place Jacksonville Jaguars averaged more yards per attempt.
Let’s not talk about how the Steelers were ranked dead last in the league in rushing as well. With a stellar defense, they were at least able to hide their flaws for the better half of the season.
Unfortunately, it eventually caught up to them, and it showed during the end of the year and the playoff game against the Cleveland Browns.
This led to a change in leadership for the offense. The Steelers stayed in house and hired Matt Canada as the new offensive coordinator. I had high hopes for Canada during the offseason and was excited to see if he could spark something with this young core of players.
In the first two games, it clearly hasn’t.
Steelers offense still struggling under Matt Canada
The 2021 offense looks the same as it did with Fichtner, if not worse.
In just two games, including Week 2’s 26-17 home loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Steelers have only averaged 291.5 yards per game.
This ranks 27th overall in the league after just two weeks of the season.
They also are only averaging 57.0 rushing yards in the first two games. There is no excuse for that when you have an aging quarterback and a top talent running back and first-round NFL Draft pick in Najee Harris.
Ben Roethlisberger averaged only 6.3 yards a play last year, which was ranked 30th in the league. In the first two games of the 2021 season, he is actually doing worse. He is only averaging 5.9 yards a play. I know this is a short sample size, but it doesn’t fair well for the future of this offense if something doesn’t change.
Canada and head coach Mike Tomlin need to reevaluate their ideas of how this offense is going to be run, or this is going to be a long season. Pittsburgh’s defense cannot bail the team out every game. I know the offensive line is very young and has not shown a lot of promise on run blocking, but they should not give up on it so early in the game even if they are losing. Roethlisberger does not have the arm and quickness he once had, so he should not be throwing it 40 times game.
What exactly has Canada changed in this offense? I guess time will tell the fans on if he was the right man for the job or if we are seeing a repeat of last year. I hope they can figure this out before it’s too late and the season is lost.
I truly think this team can still go 10-7 and have a chance to make the playoffs, but this offense needs new life.