When an organization is winning football games consistently, it becomes easy to hide behind the small mistakes that hold you back. In the case of the 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers, those so-called “small mistakes” have ended up costing this football team some games where a win was in sight. Of course when I see the “small mistakes,” I’m referring to the holes missed by our running backs in the rushing game throughout the first few weeks and missed assignments on the offensive line that have slowed this team’s progression down as of late. These mistakes are ones that the fans and organization can expect, especially in positions that favor rookies heavily.
What this team didn’t expect was to be starting out the first month of the NFL season sitting at 1-3 — especially with the pieces we’ve added to this offense in the off-season. I think most within the organization believed that there would be elevated play from the returning starters off last year’s team that would be enough to cover up for the lack of experience that led to the “small mistakes” spoken about before. Obviously, that has not been the case and this team is now sitting as the sole owner of last place in the AFC North four games into the new year. Not a time to hit the panic button, but it is certainly unfamiliar territory for anyone within the organization.
Offensive coordinator Matt Canada proclaimed after last week’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals that this team’s offensive scheme is going to “stick with what we do” in regards to what this team showcases on game day. Is it time to start thinking about the individuals who don’t necessarily fit in the new offensive system under Canada himself or have we just not given the new scheme enough time to really resonate with the organization and its players. Regardless of who is at fault, all of SteelerNation is running out of patience. The season will be over sooner than we know and this offense is going to need to figure out how to be more effective week to week. AND QUICK.
The Steelers have now dropped the last three games in a row and have had little to no offensive flow in each of them. This offense has had to be carried by the efforts of our defense in order to remain in the game and that has been apparent. After yet again another poor effort offensively, reporters caught up with star wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to ask him a few questions about the offense’s slow start this past month.
“Sticking together, believing in one another, I think is the hardest thing right now. We don’t want to go around pointing fingers or blaming,” said Smith-Schuster. He continued. “For us, we’re in the trenches and there is no need for all that. What we’re going to do now is go back, look at the film and just learn from it. That’s all we can do.”
Typical answer that we all expected to hear and although SteelerNation may be quick to point the finger in one’s direction. This team is not. In my opinion, there have been many things offensively that can take responsibility for this team’s slow start. Offensive line play has been an issue. We also have not been able to pass protect for Ben Roethlisberger this year like we have in most years. Roethlisberger himself has looked as bad as we have ever seen him play to start out a season and our play calling has been nothing but screen plays and slant routes. He needs to play better. Yes, he missed throws this week in two key situations that could have led to touchdowns and put this team in a situation to be in a much better situation than they are right now. Although it seems like the morale is down, we all know that the Pittsburgh Steelers will not just give up. Head Coach Mike Tomlin has yet to have a losing season as a head coach, and I don’t think we should expect this to be his first.
— Joe Haden (@joehaden23) October 4, 2021
Do you think it is time to panic for this offense or do we trust Ben Roethlisberger and this group to turn it around? Let us know below!