Following the Steelers' Week 8 loss to the Jaguars, you are going to be hearing a lot about the poor officiating and terrible field conditions. The officials made some egregious calls against Pittsburgh in this game that cost them points. Some of these flags were incredibly difficult to justify. At the same time, the awful field conditions made for some sloppy football, and the Steelers may have left some points on the board as a result.
While this might be the case, the performance of the actual team was far from inspiring in Week 8. Even if you give Pittsburgh neutral officials and a better playing surface, they still probably deserved to lose the game with how poorly they played on the offensive side of the ball. Here are the most concerning takeaways from the Steelers' discouraging loss to the Jaguars.
4. The running game doesn't exist
No matter how much or how little they try, the Pittsburgh Steelers just can't seem to find a way to run the football. Against Jacksonville in Week 8, Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren combined for just 32 yards on 12 carries. Najee was particularly ineffective -- rushing for just 1.9 yards per attempt on the game, via ESPN stats.
Kenny Pickett and Calvin Austin III each had a ten-yard run in this game. If not for these plays, the running game would have looked even worse. They managed just 70 yards on the ground in all.
While the Steelers can often give up gaping holes on the ground, they did a fairly good job containing Travis Etienne when it came to running the ball. However, he still rushed for more yards than the entire Steelers team in this contest.
Pittsburgh's rushing offense ranked just 28th in the NFL prior to this game with 81.3 yards per attempt, and it might look even worse when Week 8 wraps up. In terms of yards per attempt, Pittsburgh sits 29th in the NFL at just 3.3 yards per carry. This team simply cannot execute the game plan they want to accomplish this year.