The Pittsburgh Steelers were heading into Week 11 at 6-3 and tied for second place in the AFC North with the Cleveland Browns. It was a road game and at this point of the regular season, was a pivotal game to see if they were contenders or pretenders.
Heading into this game, all eyes were on the Steelers' offense which for many weeks now, has been abysmal. Quarterback Kenny Pickett has been quite the topic of debate in Steelers Nation as many are torn if he can be the future franchise quarterback this team needs.
At this point in time, the jury is still out on whether or not he can be the future face of this franchise. The first half of this game was one of the worst the football world has seen yet by the Steelers. Useless penalties, dumb offensive playcalling, and of course, Pickett continued to look confused in the pocket and tried to do too much with more of the same terrible offensive playcalling.
There is only so much Kenny Pickett can do with abysmal playcalling
Pickett was fidgety and still does not look confident at all under center. It's looking more and more apparent that perhaps offensive coordinator Matt Canada isn't the play-caller who can cater to Pickett's strengths. Yes, Pickett hasn't been perfect but the offensive plays he's been given to work with aren't working in any way, shape, or form. It's the same hot mess week in, week out.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. For the majority of the regular season, Canada has done zero favors for Pickett and continues to call the same boring, predictable, and unsuccessful offensive plays. It's a miracle the Steelers have even won six football games this year.
A perfect example is that Pickett was struggling big time in the first half in this Week 11 matchup. It was common football sense to put the football into the hands of running back Jaylen Warren since he was playing well. He was making good plays, consistently keeping those chains moving, and delivering results. The second half was a whole different ballgame when Warren broke out for a huge touchdown run and instead of Canada capitalizing on everything Warren brings to the table, he went back to having Pickett handle the bulk of playcalling by passing more.
In the grand scheme of things, if your running back is making these kinds of plays and hits over the century mark in rushing yards, you keep feeding him the football. Even when he hits the sideline for a breather, you keep pounding the football with your other running backs. You play smashmouth running football instead of trying to put it all on your quarterback who simply isn't ready at this point of his career to be a difference-maker.
The Steelers lost a winnable game all due to not being able to properly adjust in the heat of the moment to strike while the iron was hot. Warren could have been that difference-maker that was needed here but once again, Canada doesn't get it and it's looking more and more likely that an offensive coordinator change desperately needs to happen next year. Now the Steelers are 6-4 and on the outside looking in.