The Pittsburgh Steelers have only had two road games so far during the 2023 season, but already, they have had some troubling issues with their team charter plane. Following their Sunday Night Football Game in Las Vegas in Week 4, the team was forced to make an emergency landing in Kansas City as one of the engines was leaking oil.
After a delay of over eight hours, the Steelers made their way back to Pittsburgh before turning around just a few days later and flying to Houston. However, their return flight didn't go without a hitch. According to the team's spokesperson, Burt Lauten, the flight was once again delayed -- this time due to a mechanical issue.
You don't often hear about a team experiencing this many issues with their charter plane, but we can all be thankful that everyone is safe. In some weird way, the oil leaks and mechanical problems feel like the perfect analogy for Pittsburgh's failing 2023 season.
Steelers have had 'engine failure' on the field in 2023
Early in the season, it's hard to argue that things have been running smoothly for the Steelers. In fact, it's been the exact opposite. On the offensive side of the football, the script has been clunky and robotic. Apart from a few big plays, there has been zero consistency when it comes to sustaining drives through the first four weeks of the season.
As a result, Pittsburgh is near the bottom of the league in points per game, and if you take away their two defensive touchdowns scored in Week 2 against the Browns, the Steelers would be last in the NFL with just 12.0 offensive points per contest.
On the other side of the ball, the defense has been battered and worn down. Since losing Cameron Heyward in Week 1, teams have found some success on the ground against Pittsburgh while also carving them up through the air. The Steelers rank just 29th in total defense -- allowing a whopping 403.0 yards per game, per Team Rankings.
Obviously, there's still time to turn this sinking ship around (or in this case, the failing engine on the charter plane). There's plenty of season ahead for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but these problems aren't going to resolve themselves. Changes are needed, and this team won't be able to get off the ground until they get to the core of the problem.
Many believe the issue stems from offensive coordinator, Matt Canada. The third-year OC is having his least successful season yet with the Steelers. Others think the issue comes from the top with Mike Tomlin -- who not only signed off on these internal coaching hires but also had his hand in the hiring process.
There is plenty of blame to pass around so far when it comes to the underwhelming play of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2023. It's time to find some mechanics who can fix this broken-down charter plane before it's too late.