Steelers score an opening-drive touchdown with Matt Canada up close and personal

It worked! Matt Canada calling from the sidelines is just what the doctor ordered.
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

It's about time the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to come firing out of the gate! For the first time all season, Mike Tomlin's team has scored a touchdown on the opening drive of a game. Pittsburgh is trying something new, and so far, it's working.

Just hours before their Thursday Night Football game against the Tennessee Titans, we learned that Matt Canada would not be calling plays from the booth tonight. Rather, the Steelers' third-year offensive coordinator would be down on the sidelines with his players.

The Steelers won the toss and fans cringed as they elected to take the ball first to begin the game. But just like that, Canada's offense capped off a 10-play, 78 yard drive with a touchdown scamper from running back, Najee Harris.

This was a beautiful thing of art (at least compared to what Steelers fans are used to seeing). Prior to this opening-drive score, Pittsburgh had managed a grand total of 7 offensive points in 7 full first quarters this season (just 1.0 point per first quarter). Additionally, their first-quarter statistical splits were in a tier of their own at the bottom of the league, according to Pro Football Reference.

While we don't want to get our hopes too high after just one drive, something looked different about that offensive series to open the game against the Titans in Week 9. It's time to glue Matt Canada's feet to the sideline. This is more success from the offense in a first quarter than we were used to seeing all year. The 78 yards on the opening drive is far more than the 44 that they previously averaged of net offensive yards per first quarter.

For the first time all season, we can join together and say, 'Nice work, Matt Canada.' Let's hope the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator can keep it up all game and avoid the thunderous boos from the crowd.