What we learned from Pittsburgh Steelers disgraceful loss vs Bills
The Steelers dropped yet another game to an AFC Conference opponent in a deplorable fashion
Absolutely disgraceful is the way I would describe the manner in which the Steelers lost yet another game and yet another AFC Conference game, this time to the Buffalo Bills. After having watched us play for forty-three-plus years, I can tell you that the loss against the Bills was just flat-out bad.
It was bad in several respects, not the least of which was the head-scratching playcalling on both sides of the ball. Couple that with a couple of questionable decisions made by Mike Tomlin when we were twice losing by multiple possessions, the Steelers put up nary a fight in a blowout loss.
Let’s see what we learned on the offensive side of the ball.
The Steelers offense just could not get anything going at all against the Bills
I realize and acknowledge that the Bills are a good team with both a good offense and a good defense but scoring three points in eleven drives is pitiful. According to ESPN, we managed the aforementioned three points in seventy-two plays.
Think about that for a minute. An NFL offense ran seventy-two plays and managed a paltry three points. Frankly, Matt Canada may be the worst offensive coordinator I have seen. It was almost as if he did not want Kenny Pickett throwing the ball unnecessarily.
I understand why Canada would want to take that approach but, at some point, you just have to realize that the only way to beat the caliber of team that the Bills are is to let your rookie QB sling it. Yes, that may result in poor throws and possibly INTs.
It was only when we were down multiple scores that it seemed like Canada was being more liberal with the passing plays. Pickett ended the game with fifty-two pass attempts because the running game was once again feeble and feckless.
Let’s see what we learned on the defensive side of the ball.
The Steelers defense was hapless and helpless
That assessment may seem harsh, but it happens to be the truth. The vaunted Steelers ‘D’ gave up, rather easily, five-hundred and fifty-two total yards, four-hundred and thirty-two of which came via the passing game.
As much as I think Canada needs to be replaced, I am now of the opinion that Teryl Austin needs to be replaced. I realize we are still without T.J. Watt; however, you have to adjust the play-calling to account for the loss of a player the caliber of Watt.
Austin has not done that. Instead, he continues to call straight-up ‘man-to-man’ and continues to allow ‘chunk’, field-flipping plays to the opposition. The Bills offense had serious ‘firepower’ we needed to worry about, but Austin seemingly did not care about that as evidenced by the fact that two receivers each finished the game with over one hundred yards.
I honestly cannot remember the last time a Steelers defense gave up over five hundred and fifty yards and gave up over one hundred yards passing each to two receivers. That is simply unacceptable.
Let’s see what else we learned.
The Steelers have a coaching problem
Again, that may seem like a harsh assessment, but it happens to be the truth. I am a Tomlin supporter, but I am a Tomlin apologist. The Steelers were simply outcoached against the Bills and it showed in the ‘box score’.
I am confident that Tomlin will make the necessary changes to potentially save the 2022 season, but with four losses and four AFC Conference losses, the season is spiraling out of control and is now in jeopardy of being the first losing season under Tomlin’s watch.
I have to think that Tomlin sees what is transpiring week in and week out. I have to think Tomlin knows that Canada’s scheme is terrible and that Austin may be in over his head. So, how does he right the ship?
I know what I would do. I would relieve Canada of his duties, promote Mike Sullivan, and demote Austin. The alternative is we do nothing and possibly not win another game. I don’t know about you, but that is not appealing to me.