The Pittsburgh Steelers just had a very disheartening performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8. Kenny Pickett and the offense struggled to move the football from the very first possession of the game, while the field conditions at Acrisure Stadium didn't help their cause. Eventually, the Jaguars would cruise to victory as the Steelers fell in a 20-10 loss.
There are plenty of fingers to point and blame to pass around, but the biggest story from Pittsburgh in Week 8 will be about the incompetent officiating crew. From the first defensive series of the game when James Pierre was tagged with a ticky-tack pass interference call, the awful officiating played a big role in this game.
Questionable calls cost Pittsburgh points at times, and fans were furious when there was no call after Kenny Pickett was driven into the ground. Earlier, Keanu Neal had a far less egregious hit on Jags QB Trevor Lawrence and was flagged for a 15-yard personal foul penalty.
Diontae Johnson wasn't about to let the terrible officiating crew get away with murder. During his post-game press conference, the Steelers receiver went off about the dismal officiating in the Steelers vs. Jaguars game.
You can bet that Diontae is going to be hearing from the league regarding his comments after the game. It's hard to blame him for being livid with how things went down on Sunday in Pittsburgh.
As objectively as possible, this is one of the worst games I have seen by an officiating crew in quite some time. Numerous calls stalled any bit of momentum the Steelers tried to gain in this contest.
The refs were bad, but the Steelers were even worse
Having said that, the results still may have been the same. The Steelers showed once again that they have one of the worst offenses in the NFL. What's most discouraging is that they laid another egg on offense in Week 8 and not much has changed since the beginning of the year.
Against the Jaguars, the Steelers managed a dismal 261 total yards of offense and just 4.1 yards per play, according to ESPN stats. This number is actually more inflated than it looks, as much of this came in garbage time as the Jaguars let off the gas with a 10-point lead. At halftime, the Steelers had exactly 100 yards and just 3 points.
Even if the officiating would have been neutral in this contest, I'm not buying that the Steelers would have won this game. What this team has shown is that, when the refs are not on their side, they cannot overcome bad calls.
This was a very discouraging game for Steelers fans, and it's clear that big changes need to be made if this team wants to find real success. Sadly, those changes aren't likely to come until at least next offseason. Maybe they can find a way to make a few minor improvements, but nobody should be buying this team as a true contender at this point in time.