The Pittsburgh Steelers Week 4 matchup against the New York Jets is a crucial one given the organization’s upcoming schedule. The team will face the league’s two top offenses and three of the top five defenses in October and will be playing catch up all month if the offense continues to sputter as it has in the first three weeks. The key to instilling some confidence in the group and preparing them both mentally and physically to attack a tough stretch is opening up the playbook this weekend. Offensive coordinator, Matt Canada is apparently in hot water with the players in the locker room and this week could determine his future in Pittsburgh.
New York was expected to have a top 10 defense when they brought in Robert Saleh to be the head coach after the 2020 season. This year, his defensive unit ranks in the bottom of the league in multiple categories. These areas just so happened to be what the Steelers offense has struggled with significantly since Canada was promoted to make the offensive play calls and this year in particular.
The Jets are 27th in the NFL, allowing 10 total touchdowns through three weeks. Pittsburgh on the other hand, has only scored five touchdowns on offense, which is one of the worst marks in the league. It is no secret that in today’s game of football, explosive offense and putting up points are two things that help win games. Finding the end zone three or more times on Sunday would be an extreme confidence boost to the offensive unit and they have the ability to do so against the Jets.
Canada and co. are only converting on third down 33.3% of the time and are 24th in that area. The Jets come into the game as the second worst third down defense, allowing their opponents to convert on 51.3% of chances. This has been a huge struggle for Mitch Trubisky and the offense so far and the group is going to need to convert much more consistently. For what it’s worth, the top two offenses this season are also the two best teams converting on third down. That isn’t a coincidence.
The Jets defensive woes don’t stop there, though. Saleh’s group has allowed 81 total points and has not held an opponent under 24 the first month of the season. Pittsburgh’s offense is averaging 15.6 points per game and has not been responsible for more than 17 points in a game yet this season. An offensive outburst is exactly what could be on the table this weekend and it needs to be taken advantage of.
Lastly, New York is averaging more than two passing touchdowns per game to opposing quarterbacks. Trubisky has only two so far this season, which is tied for the worst in the league. It seems as if Mike Tomlin is set on the free agent signing continuing to be the quarterback, but if the offense does not find a way to get in the end zone and Trubisky isn’t effective in the red zone on Sunday against a suspect defense, the rumor mill will continue to swirl.
Something is going to have to give on Sunday at Acrisure Stadium. The Steelers will either gain some momentum and take a step forward offensively, or the Jets will solve some of their defensive concerns and force Pittsburgh’s offense to have another tough showing.
How important is it for Canada’s offense to show big signs of improvement against an unproven defense on Sunday? Let us know in the comments below!