You asked for it and the Steelers delivered. This was exactly the type of performance we needed to see from Pittsburgh's offense. During the first two weeks of the 2023 season, Matt Canada and Kenny Pickett were under the microscope after managing just 9.5 offensive points per game. Now in Week 3, these two did their best to silence critics.
Things didn't start out overly encouraging for Steelers fans. After receiving the ball to start the game, Pittsburgh was forced to punt the ball away after a quick three-and-out. The Raiders went up 7-0, but Pickett answered back with a 72-yard touchdown bomb down the field to Calvin Austin III.
The momentum didn't stop there. While the Steelers were forced to settle for field goals three times in the first half, they picked up the pace in the third quarter with an impressive drive from Pickett that was capped off with a touchdown strike to Pat Freiermuth.
In addition to making plays down the field with his arms, Kenny Pickett was also getting space and making things happen with his legs. Pickett had a huge run that was called back due to an illegal formation penalty that really had nothing to do with the play, but this run for a first down stood.
But it wasn't just Pickett who really stepped up his game this week. Nobody in the Steelers organization has been more scrutinized than offensive coordinator, Matt Canada. Though it wasn't perfect (and Canada still tipped his hat to the play call on running downs) he did help get his QB in advantageous situations.
Obviously, there's plenty of room for improvement still with this offense. The Steelers were a bit predictable at times, and late in the game, they seemed very content to run the clock out rather than try to rack up the score. But after what we've witnessed early on, we will gladly take 23 points on the road.
Some questionable calls in the fourth quarter helped the Raiders get back into the game and make it a five-point contest by the end of the game, but it wasn't quite as close as the final score would indicate.
Kenny Pickett had one of the best statistical games of his NFL career to date as he had 235 yards and 2 touchdowns on an impressive 8.4 yards per pass attempt and a passer rating of 108.5, per ESPN stats. The offense as a whole managed 333 yards and 5.6 yards per play. They also went 5 of 15 on third-down conversions. While these numbers aren't great in comparison to some teams, these were all the best marks of the season so far for Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Steelers need to start preparing for another road game in Week 4 against the Houston Texans, but this was certainly a step in the right direction for an offense that was stagnant in the first two games of the season. Pittsburgh is now 2-1 on the season -- tied for the best record in the AFC North.