The Pittsburgh Steelers just don’t seem to have enough going for them on offense. Here’s how they fell to 1-2 against the Cleveland Browns.
This is starting to get old. Another week, the same old story. The Pittsburgh Steelers defense mustered up all of the energy they could find on a short week to try to contain the Cleveland Browns’ offense on Thursday Night Football, but at the end of the day, Pittsburgh’s offense simply did not do enough to help them out.
After one last-ditch effort to make something out of nothing on a lateral play with time expiring, the Steelers fumbled the ball and allowed Cleveland to recover for a defensive touchdown — ending the game with a score of 17-29.
In the first half, Mike Tomlin’s team held tough. Terrell Edmunds was responsible for giving up two touchdowns, but the rest of the defense was respectable. The offense seemed to be on a better pace — scoring two touchdowns in the second quarter and entering the half with a 14-13 lead. Sadly this would not last.
Though Pittsburgh’s defense held the Browns to just 3 points in the third quarter, you could see that they just didn’t have any gas left in the tank late in the game as the constant pounding of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt eventually wore them down.
Meanwhile, the Steelers offense played an abysmal second half of football. Despite Mitch Trubisky going 8 of 9 and averaging 9.9 yards per attempt in the first half, he finished the game with just 207 passing yards on 6.5 yards per attempt, according to ESPN stats. This was the highest mark of the season for him to date, but certainly not a number to be proud of.
What went wrong for the Steelers?
I stressed just before the game that Pittsburgh could not afford to let a talented pair of Browns running backs get going in this contest and they needed to account for Amari Cooper. Sadly, they weren’t able to do either very well defensively. Still, it’s hard not to blame the offense for the loss yet again.
With the exception of a strong second quarter, the rest of their offensive showing was quite pathetic. The offense simply stalled far too often and couldn’t put points on the board. This is now the third straight game to start the season in which they have managed 17 offensive points or fewer. They did this despite having a rushing attack that was able to go off for over 100 yards on the ground on 4.7 yards per carry.
Additionally, Trubisky was pretty well protected most of the game — taking just 1 sack for 3 yards. Once again, the blame continues to fall on a combination of Steelers QB play and OC Matt Canada, as this pairing is proving to be lethal to the success of this team. Trubisky did not attempt a single pass over the middle of the football field until desperation struck in the fourth quarter.
The offensive game plan and subpar quarterback play have not been good enough for the Steelers to win football games. This team now drops to 0-6 all-time when T.J. Watt is absent and 0-2 without Watt on the season. Pittsburgh has to be one of the only teams in the league who can claim their best defensive player is more important to their success than their starting quarterback.
It’s time for the Pittsburgh Steelers to put this experiment to rest. Mitch Trubisky and Matt Canada both need to lose their jobs soon, but something tells me that Canada isn’t getting pushed out the door until the season comes to a close. When it comes to quarterback, however, I wouldn’t be totally shocked to see the Steelers make a switch to Kenny Pickett at this point.