The Steelers offensive line was a weak point heading into the 2022 season. Saturday’s preseason game answered some questions.
While no one generally tracks preseason game stats, the fact the Steelers racked up 185 rushing yards is impressive — considering it’s only happened once in the regular season since 2017. That said, most teams do not rush for that many yards if their offensive line is not clicking on all cylinders; in conjunction, they had 251 passing yards.
You usually do not put 436 offensive yards without your offensive line doing something right. Even the Steelers radio broadcasters notated that point and let their feeling know the Steelers offensive line played a great game.
One could argue that the Seahawk’s defense was that bad, and that could potentially be a fair point. It’s hard to fathom the Seahawks making a Superbowl run in 2022, given they are still trying to decide between Geno Smith and Drew Lock for their starting quarterback. Plus, they did not upgrade their team much either through the trade with Denver or through the draft.
Now, please do not get the idea that this is an argument that the Steelers offensive line is vastly superior to 2021, but on the surface, they did a great job in their first game all the way down the depth chart.
Why Steelers OL looks improved
You can give the offensive line credit because they gave Kenny Pickett a solid opportunity to orchestrate a game-winning drive. Granted, they let up a few sacks but left holes for Trubisky and Pickett to rush through when scrambling. Yet, it was good to see lanes opening up. Even Matt Canada would acknowledge that for his offense to click on all cylinders, the offensive line needs to do its job. They certainly did that Saturday.
However, will the improvement we saw Saturday carry over into the remaining preseason games against Jacksonville and Detroit? One would hope but take nothing for granted. Now that said, the Steelers added veteran lineman James Daniels who brings experience to the table. While some have argued both ways, his addition should help the Steelers somewhat.
Many have also argued about the effectiveness of rookies Dan Moore and Kendrick Green. Merril Hoge did a piece on Steelers.com showing how Dan Moore improved over 2021. His analysis is that Moore should be remarkedly better in 2022. If the Steelers first preseason game highlights anything, it should be that the offensive line has improved.
Now while you must take a preseason game with a grain of salt, they did have a great performance. If that performance continues throughout the next two games, then quite possibly, the Steelers offense might not seem as paltry as it did in 2021. If, on the other hand, their performance seems worse, the Steelers could go through many growing pains in the 2022 season.
Nevertheless, it was good to see how well Pittsburgh’s rushing game fared Saturday night and if they continue at the same level, 2022 could be an exciting season, to say the least.