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Steelers New Offense Starts Off 2022 Season Mistake Free By Not Taking Any Chances

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Steelers New Offense Starts Off 2022 Season Mistake Free By Not Taking Any Chances

The Pittsburgh Steelers won a thrilling overtime victory against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon, 23-20. The defense played at an elite level against a top NFL quarterback and despite being on the field for nearly two thirds of the game, held them for most of the afternoon. Play-makers like Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase can only be contained, and they did find a way to nearly win the game multiple times.

Steelers Trubisky

CBS Sports

Coming into the game, the offensive line was justifiably seen as the weakness of the 2022 Steelers. They struggled for most of the afternoon trying to open holes for the running game, but the combination of Mitch Trubisky and the oft-maligned unit managed to keep the Bengals to only 1 sack and did not commit a turnover during the entire 70 minutes of football on Sunday. The lack of mistakes does not seem like much on the surface, it is boring and frustrating, but it did get results.

The Steelers will not face a more balanced group of play-makers than what they faced in Paycor Stadium until they face the Buffalo Bills a month from now. Any offensive mistake would have broken the game in Cincinnati’s favor. The defense turned the Bengals over five times and sacked them seven times, but managed only 17 points off those turnovers. The offense featured some interesting double reverses and flea flickers, but for the most part seemed content to punt and play field position.

Steelers Boswell

Sep 11, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers place kicker Chris Boswell (9) kicks a field goal during the first quarter of a Week 1 NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cara Owsley-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers for two decades had Ben Roethlisberger leading the offense and whatever the score, the feeling was always that a play would be made and that the ball should be in his hands. For many fans, today was the first time the reality of what the offense looks like without a Hall of Fame quarterback at the helm set in. It will not be pretty; the spectacular will not be commonplace and sometimes two first downs and a punt are a good thing.

The offensive line had some tortured moments, but Trubisky bailed them out multiple times. It looked like a sure safety in the third quarter, but Trubisky got off a pass close enough to Pat Freiermuth that he avoided a sack and an intentional grounding penalty. Multiple times in the second half, he scrambled for a few yards to avoid sacks and threw a myriad of checkdowns. In overtime on a free play with under a minute left, the Pittsburgh signal-caller shook off a free runner and made a great pass down the field to put the Steelers in position to win the game. It was one play, but it was all the Steelers needed to win.

Steelers Offense

Matt Freed/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The national media castigated Roethlisberger the last two seasons when he played like this, but the CBS broadcast team of Ian Eagle and Charles Davis only mentioned that the Bengals were playing receivers tight and crowding the line of scrimmage because this was the Steelers offense. They praised Matt Canada and the offense for their trickery in the first half, but when the offense stagnated in the second half and praise dwindled, they simply assessed that the play-calling, and execution was somehow part of the plan.


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The Steelers face the New England Patriots next week and the offense will be presented a different challenge against an 0-1 Bill Belichick team. The Patriots will not present the high-powered offensive challenge that the Bengals did, so the Steelers might feel emboldened to take even more chances next week. They will need to open the play-calling up if they are missing Najee Harris and T.J. Watt, who were both injured against the Bengals, to defeat the Patriots.

Defense and ball control can still work in today’s NFL, but the key to the strategy is ball control. The offense has to be facing third and three, not third and six all day, so simply not making big mistakes won’t be good enough going forward. Sunday in Cincinnati being average was good enough.

 

What do you think, Steeler Nation? What does the offense need to do moving forward? Please comment below or on my Twitter @thebubbasq.

I have been rooting for the Steelers actively since 1975. I love the Black and Gold and support them through thick and thin. I am a Navy Veteran, living in Jacksonville, FL and never miss a chance to go to the neutral site games here in Jacksonville. I am new to the Steeler Nation website, but I love discussing Steelers Past, Present and Future.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: REPORT - Tests Negative For Steelers' Running Back Najee Harris Ahead Of Week 2 - SteelerNation.com

  2. Alan s

    September 12, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    This offense was very little different than last years. Jet sweeps and motion are no substitute for NFL offenses. Matt Canada treats the middle of the field like it’s a forbidden zone for receivers. We need an NFL offensive coordinator

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