The Pittsburgh Steelers scored just six points in a 30-6 bludgeoning at the hands of the Houston Texans on Sunday.
It was the second time this season that the team put up a single-digit scoring effort, after mustering just seven against San Francisco in the season opener. For context, Pittsburgh put up single-digit numbers just once from 2020-2022 combined.
And lackluster offense has been the prevailing trend for the Steelers in each game they’ve played thus far. Averaging 15.5 points per outing, that number is the lowest they’ve had through four games since 2006, while their 263 yards per game ranks 29th in the NFL, and is the lowest mark since 2008.
Their struggles have been heavily discussed during the season’s first four weeks, and this week former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger weighed in on some of the pitfalls they’ve experienced.
Regarding one instance, a third-quarter decision to throw out of the shotgun on a fourth-and-1 in Houston territory, Roethlisberger had this to say:
“I hated the play call. When they called timeout, I’m thinking to myself, it’s (either) a QB sneak. It’s Najee [Harris] up the middle because he’s been running pretty hard. Or if you really want to get creative with it, sell it like you’re going to run because everyone in the building thinks you’re going to run it, and go with real hard play action and take a shot up over top. We used to do that on fourth down a lot. … The Raiders did it to us last week. On fourth-and-1, they hit Davante Adams for a touchdown. Same thought. It’s everyone’s up at the line. Everyone’s playing run, and that happens. So I am like, ‘Those are your options. It has to be those three things.’”
It wasn’t one of those three things.
“They come out in shotgun,” he said, “and I’m like, ‘Oh. Maybe they are going to draw them offsides.’ Because you can do that too, or maybe they’re gonna shift. … And they snap the ball, and I see they are running a little choice route. And I’m just like, oh no, I mean, I just, I don’t believe it.”
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The Steelers did not convert the fourth-down play, and it went down as another citation into the examination of offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
Canada, who’s been unpopular with Pittsburgh fans since he began calling plays in 2021, has seen criticism of him spike in the past few weeks. But according to head coach Mike Tomlin, there are no changes coming soon in that department.
Things don’t get easier for Pittsburgh, which faces off against the division-leading Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, and Kenny Pickett’s bone bruise isn’t going to help anything, either.
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