Through the first week of NFL football, the questions surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers and their offense were largely ignored. After all, the Steelers marched into Orchard Park and secured an excellent Week 1 win over the defending AFC East champion Buffalo Bills. Winning heals all, and the Steelers had the looks of a competitive team in a tough AFC North division.
It was an impressive victory over one of the elite teams in the conference, but the warning signs were there. Ben Roethlisberger was rather pedestrian in the victory, completing just 18-of-32 passes for 188 yards.
Entering his age-39 season, the critics have begun to question Roethlisberger’s ability to play at a high level going forward. He was asked to do very little in the victory over Buffalo, as it was the Steelers’ defense that carried them to Week 1 euphoria.
Inquiries about the Steelers’ offense will be more prevalent this week after Sunday’s
embarrassing loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. The performance raised an urgent and fair query. We know things go swimmingly for the Steelers when their defense plays well—we saw it on full display in Week 1–but do they have the horses on offense when they’re met with an opponent that offers resistance and puts up points? The answer appears to be a hard no.
What’s up with the Steelers’ offense? Easy. They're not very good. For the second week in a row, the Steelers had the looks of an abysmal unit on that side of the ball. There’s no use in having horses like Najee Harris, Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, and JuJu Smith-Schuster if you’re going to look that incompetent. An aging, declining quarterback paired with a young and inexperienced offensive line is a recipe for a disaster, and it’s been just short of that in Pittsburgh so far—and there’s time for it to get worse.
To be fair to all involved, this is more of a team issue than it is an individual one at the moment. Claypool and Johnson shouldn’t be spared blame for their uneven performances on Sunday. They had opportunities to make big plays and simply didn’t answer the bell when called upon.
As much of a story as the 2-0 Raiders should be right now, the national attention will focus on how the Steelers were truly and well beaten at home by a team they’re expected to handle. Who that credit should be attributed to is irrelevant for the time being.
On the relationship side of it all, things between Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Matt Canada don’t sound like they’re off to a great start.
When asked about the Steelers’ no-huddle offense, Roethlisberger didn’t exactly give the candid or political answer.
“We don’t really have a no-huddle,” he said. “It’s just kind of like our two-minute offense, so that was the changeup, going with kind of a two-minute, pick-up-the-pace type of offense.”
Yikes. That doesn’t exactly sound like a ringing endorsement for the first-year offensive coordinator.
This is an issue that needs immediate fixing, but we’re not convinced it will be patched up anytime soon. We had serious concerns regarding this Steelers’ offense heading into the 2021 season. Through two weeks, it appears we had every reason to worry.
- Aug 22, 2022
- Aug 22, 2022