The Pittsburgh Steelers were completely horrid on offense in their 16-10 loss to Miami. What can we expect from them on their way to Philly?
Last week, I praised the Steelers for the newfound rhythm that came with their stunning win over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But, as of now, that victory seemingly means very little.
For starters, this last Sunday we saw the Carolina Panthers (who entered the weekend at 1-5) shut down the Bucs en route to a 21-3 divisional win. The loss brought Tampa Bay down to 3-4, effectively eradicating the team from relevance until further notice.
But even criticism of that severity should hardly put a dent in its pride, though, especially considering that it’s coming from Pittsburgh’s slice of NFL mediocrity.
As previously established, the Steelers didn’t exactly wow any viewers, laying an egg of their own on the Sunday night stage. Which half of the team was most to blame for it? The offense.
The two main issues to take away from Sunday night revolve around the young backfield duo, quarterback Kenny Pickett and running back Najee Harris.
Where is the Steelers backfield going wrong?
First off, Pickett is a rookie, and he is bound to look far from perfect (especially when on a team as troubled as the Steelers). However, throwing three interceptions—with two of them being uncontested on desperate drives late in the game—is unacceptable.
In other news, Pittsburgh has to come to terms with the fact that the rushing game does not function even remotely (a criticism that I have given it before). Najee Harris rushed for 65 yards and no scores on 17 carries, averaging 3.8 yards per attempt. Whether someone wants to blame Harris, his offensive line, or both for this is irrelevant—all that matters is that it’s not working.
Combining those two problems puts the Steelers in a rather tricky situation: If you can’t execute with either half of your offensive regime, how in the world are you supposed to win games?
Such a question only grows louder when looking at what’s up next on their schedule: Playing the undefeated Eagles in Philadelphia.
Looking at the last time Pittsburgh faced one of the league’s mightiest powers on the road, it resulted in the franchise’s ugliest loss in recent memory—but even that team had a loss.
Philly has experienced/dynamic talents on both sides of the ball, and the goose egg in its loss column is absolutely deserved. With that said, a sputtering offense is not going to prevail in a meeting with the Eagles. In fact, it won’t even come close to doing so.
One piece of the Steelers offensive puzzle that could consistently work is the short passing game, as it has been proven to move the chains better than the ground game has. Not only that, but deeper passing appears to be a much…“bolder” strategy when remembering Pittsburgh’s current QB situation.
But would a combination of short passes and stifled runs be enough to down one of the NFL’s best on its home turf? Probably not.
It may have only taken a week, but Pittsburgh is already back to doomsday form. If a narrow victory over the losing Bucs is all we have to go off of heading into next weekend, then the future is just as dark as it was a couple of Sundays ago.