The Steelers have built things poorly
Fans were quick to mount all of their blame on Canada early in this season. Poor rushing output? Canada’s fault? Special teams lacked that week? Still because of Canada? My car didn’t start and I was late to work? Canada left my interior lights on last night!
Jokes aside, the echo chamber of Steelers nation had convinced themselves that once Canada was gone, this team would gel. Kenny Pickett would go from a middling option to a superstar and Pittsburgh would coast through the rest of the season. Their first win against the Bengals provided some more hope for that.
The Cardinals game was a shot back to reality for this team. They still struggle to make adjustments when needed, and the entire way they have built this team is inherently flawed.
Weekly adjustments have been lacking in recent years for the Steelers. It has been even worse with in-game adjustments. Pittsburgh seems to identify what they expect to see on Sunday and make it mesh with what they intend to do. The issue is, that sometimes these points are counter to each other, but the Steelers still opt to try and force the game to go how they want it instead of countering the opposing team and winning differently.
This can work if your team is truly that much more talented than the other team, but that is rarely the case in the NFL. This is why you have seen so many offensive coordinators and teams as a whole look so different in any given week. They keep the same concepts but structure their team to combat the opponent. They are trying to play chess. Pittsburgh is trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
Pittsburgh also has shown a tenacity to lose games that they should, in theory, win. This again falls on game planning and coaching. All you need to do is listen to Jaylen Warren say they took the Cardinals lightly this week. An attitude like that is toxic for a successful team.