This is getting embarrassing. I was somewhat optimistic that the Pittsburgh Steelers would be able to move the football effectively in Week 8. The Jacksonville Jaguars were without their two best defensive backs in CB Tyson Campbell and S Andre Cisco. However, this offense let us all down once more.
From the very first play of the game, Diontae Johnson caught a case of the drops, and Kenny Pickett was a bit high on his first pass down the seam. Unfortunately, these missed opportunities were almost the highlight of their incredibly boring offense in Week 8.
Pickett suffered a rib injury halfway through this contest and would not return, but the second-year quarterback managed just 73 yards and a dismal 4.6 yards per attempt prior to his departure. As a whole, Pittsburgh's offense mustered up just 261 total yards on 60 minutes of action while going just 3 of 12 on third-down conversions.
The collection of these offensive stats is as unspectacular as we have seen from this team all year, and it's a wonder that they were even able to muster up 10 points against the Jaguars. I went back and watched the film again the morning after the game, and the offense left so much to be desired. There were missed opportunities all over the place.
As bad as this team has been on film, they are somehow even worse on paper. Here's a look at the Steelers' offensive statistics and NFL rankings entering Week 9, according to Team Rankings, FTN Fantasy, and rbsdm.com.
Through the first eight weeks of the season, Mike Tomlin's team is 29th in points per game, 31st in yards per game, 31st in first downs earned per game, 32nd in average time of possession, and 29th in offense EPA (among plenty of other sickening statistics). But 'the standard is the standard', right?
Steelers need a complete overhaulin 2024
What's sad is that we can't even call this offense mediocre anymore. The Pittsburgh Steelers are far below that. This legitimately is one of the worst offenses in the National Football League, and there isn't a logical argument fans could make right now to refute the film or the numbers.
The question then becomes: what do the Steelers do about this? Probably nothing (like they tend to do in these situations). Tomlin already expressed that he has no intentions of firing Matt Canada this year. If we are being honest with ourselves, Pittsburgh's issues on offense run much deeper than just a bad offensive coordinator.
Because of this, I think that Omar Khan should be looking to hit the reset button early in the 2024 offseason. In addition to desperately needing a new, innovative OC, the Steelers need to find a center, a right tackle, and another receiver.
I also believe that they should be eyeing a new signal-caller from a very talented 2024 quarterback class. Pickett has now played in 20 NFL games and what we are seeing now isn't much better than what we saw from Day 1. The standard is just too high in the NFL to settle for mediocrity at the QB position. Kenny Pickett is 31st in the NFL in quarterback EPA (ahead of only Zach Wilson). Pickett also has averaged a dismal 6.3 yards per pass attempt in two seasons and has a career passer rating of just 78.0.
When we take off our Yinzer goggles and compare the Steelers to 31 other offenses in the league, we can see that they still have a very long way to go in order to just be an average unit again. I think this team needs a serious overhaul during the offseason. Until then, we going to have to deal with another 10 games of football that is hard to stomach.