Steelers fans can be thankful that this team has been able to stay afloat despite their rocky start to the season. Not only that, but Pittsburgh has somehow managed to turn their shaky play into a 3-2 record entering their Week 6 bye.
When you go back and watch the tape, however, things are pretty ugly. While they may been able to weasel their way past the Browns and Ravens to pull off unlikely victories early in the season, this team is not playing well (and there are more than enough stats to back up the film as well).
The coaching staff obviously deserves their share of the blame, but there's a real talent issue that opponents have exposed early in the season. In fact, these issues are so glaring that I wouldn't be shocked to see Pittsburgh try to bolster their roster before the trade deadline. Here are four starters who are currently hurting the team the most early in the 2023 season.
4. Chukwuma Okorafor, Right tackle
Let's be clear, Dan Moore Jr. has been terrible early in the season for the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, Moore is dealing with an injury, and after the way that Broderick Jones played in his first NFL start, it's unlikely the team will go back to Moore at left tackle when he's healthy.
For the most part, Moore's poor performance has overshadowed the unspectacular play of veteran right tackle, Chukwuma Okorafor. Now in his sixth NFL season, we thought that Okorafor would have shown much more improvement by this point. Sadly, that hasn't been the case.
If anything, you could argue that this has been his worst year as a starter since coming into the NFL. Currently, Okorofor has an overall grade of just 52.1 on the season, according to Pro Football Focus. This is good for just 59th out of 72 qualifying offensive tackles in 2023.
Sadly, the tape might be even worse so far than the grade suggests. The Steelers don't have another viable option at right tackle. But perhaps if Jones remains the starter at left tackle, Chuks and Moore can battle it out on the right side. Still, this team will need to find a more permanent solution in 2024.