Mike Tomlin must make changes for Steelers to save the 2022 season
The Steelers are already at a crossroads with respect to the trajectory of the 2022 season
Look, I realize that the Steelers are only three weeks into the 2022 season, but, make no mistake, we are already at a crossroads. We are not scoring enough points on offense to win games, we are not stopping the run on defense and, frankly, we just are not getting the job done on either side of the ball.
When I say that Mike Tomlin must make changes in order to save the season, I have no expectations that he will just because I think we need to make changes. Despite the fact that I wrote a letter recently imploring him to make changes, the reality is this: Tomlin is under no obligation to do anything just because we, the fans, asked him to or want him to.
With that said, the Steelers are on the precipice of letting the 2022 season slip away. With a home game looming against an AFC Conference opponent, it feels like we are already in a ‘must-win’ situation. Let’s explore the changes that Tomlin ‘must’ make on offense.
The Steelers offense is stagnating before our eyes
Through the first three games of the 2022 season, according to ESPN, the Steelers offense is ranked thirty-first in total yards per game, ranked twenty-eighth in passing yards per game, ranked twenty-third in rushing yards per game, and ranked nineteenth in average points per game.
The points per game statistic is a little misleading but suffice it to say, the offense is terrible right now. Fans have been clamoring for the removal of Matt Canada, but the reality is this: Replacing an offensive coordinator mid-season is almost unheard of and would cause some consternation; however, we cannot continue down this path that we are currently on.
The only person who can affect change is Tomlin. If the Steelers are a two-win team at the bye week, will that prompt Tomlin to make a change? It should, but would it? I know it would for me, but I am not the Head Coach of the Steelers, Tomlin is.
I do not know Tomlin personally, but he does not strike me as someone who is opposed to making a change but making a change solely for the sake of making a change does not seem to be his modus operandi.
If we are in fact a two-win team at the bye week, I would replace Canada, promote Mike Sullivan and find a new QB coach. I would also make a change at quarterback. We have our first-round pick waiting in the wings and the fans want him to play.
Let’s explore the changes Tomlin ‘must’ make on defense.
The Steelers need to shore up the run defense and need to generate consistent pressure
The Steelers defense is ranked twenty-fourth in total yards per game, is ranked twenty-second in passing yards allowed per game, is ranked twenty-eighth in rushing yards allowed per game, and is ranked eighteenth in points allowed per game. We are also tied for ninth in total sacks.
The points allowed per game are the only facet of the defense that has prevented us from being a no-win team right now. The run defense was addressed by Tomlin. Montravius Adams has supplanted Tyson Alualu as the starting NT.
I think this move is a step in the right direction, but it is only one step. There are several more steps that need to be taken, such as replacing Terrell Edmunds on obvious passing downs. He is an absolute liability in coverage and should never be on the field in obvious passing situations.
According to Pro-Football-Reference, Edmunds has allowed a seventy-percent completion percentage and has allowed two TDs. That is awful. His pass defense has never been good and is getting worse, so why does Tomlin keep trotting him out there on obvious passing downs? Try someone else, anyone else at this point.
We also need to find a way to get more consistent pressure on the opposing QB. Our secondary is simply not good enough to be left on an island without some help from the front seven. Look, we could go on and on about the changes that Tomlin must make.
I think it’s fair to say that if the Steelers are a two-win team at the bye week, the only thing that may save the season is to make changes. If changes are not made, we will be looking at our first losing season on Tomlin’s watch.