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Panic shouldn’t be a phrase that’s typically related to the Pittsburgh Steelers. They’re fairly presumably essentially the most steady franchise in sports activities. They’ve had three head coaches in over half a century. They’ve received six Tremendous Bowls. And their present head coach has by no means skilled a dropping season.
However the nervousness degree on the banks of the Monongahela River is ratcheting up as a result of Mike Tomlin’s stretch of non-losing seasons is in very critical jeopardy. After dropping 29-17 to the Jacoby Brissett-led Cleveland Browns on Thursday night time, speak radio within the Metal Metropolis will little question heart on the notion of eradicating quarterback Mitch Trubisky and changing him with first-round rookie Kenny Pickett.
However the actuality is that Trubisky’s limitations aren’t the Steelers’ solely drawback. Or their greatest drawback. This crew has actual points on each side of the ball—and the change below heart is not going to repair them.
Earlier this week, whereas showing on The Mike Tomlin Present on the crew’s YouTube channel, Pittsburgh’s head coach indicated that he wasn’t contemplating main adjustments to the beginning lineup—together with at quarterback.
“I am not even within the neighborhood of getting discussions like that, man,” Tomlin stated, by way of Bob Quinn of Steelers Nation. “I am extra involved about our collective development and improvement and what we’re placing collectively when it comes to what we need to do to engineer victory. [Trubisky is] only a part of it.”
Tomlin’s endurance was put to the take a look at Thursday night time by a sport that was in lots of respects a carbon copy of Pittsburgh’s Week 2 loss to the New England Patriots.
The excellent news for the Steelers offense is that the crew set a season excessive in yardage. The dangerous information is that season excessive was 308 yards. Pittsburgh entered Thursday’s motion lifeless final within the AFC on whole offense, and this week’s whole is not going to assist that rating a lot.
Does Trubisky bear his share of duty for an additional lackluster offensive effort? Positive. His Thursday numbers have been a testomony to mediocrity—20 completions in 32 makes an attempt for 207 yards and a passer ranking of 81.1. But once more, Trubisky flatly refused to assault the center of the sphere.
This isn’t new. It has been a theme all season.
Marcus Mosher @Marcus_Mosher
Right here is Steelers QB Mitchell Trubisky’s passing charts by means of Week 2 by way of the NFL’s Subsequent Gen Stats: pic.twitter.com/Q63PmTOf0L
However primarily blaming Trubisky for this offense’s incapability to common 300 yards of offense three weeks into the season is unfair. There’s loads of blame to go round.
Pittsburgh entered Week 3 with the seventh-worst floor sport within the NFL, averaging 83 yards per sport. That quantity will bump a bit of after the Steelers smashed 104 yards on 22 carries, however their floor sport appeared pathetic in comparison with Cleveland’s.
Lead again Najee Harris has but to get into any type of groove this season, and Week 3 was no exception. He gained simply 3.7 yards per keep it up his 15 totes—and that was really his greatest common of the season. Heading into the week, he was averaging lower than three yards a pop.
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That ain’t good, of us.
After all, Trubisky’s and Harris’ struggles may be traced to one more of the issues. The Steelers have one of many worst offensive traces within the NFL. In his most up-to-date offensive line rankings, Sam Monson of Professional Soccer Focus ranked Pittsburgh’s entrance twenty eighth within the league.
Sure, that line solely allowed one sack in opposition to the Browns. However stated sack got here on a important third down within the second half, and the Pittsburgh entrance was but once more unable to open holes for the run sport.
Lest you assume he shall be spared, offensive coordinator Matt Canada deserves responsible, too. amide experiences
that some within the group are rising pissed off with the second-year OC, Canada’s play-calling fell flat as soon as once more. When Canada discovered one thing that truly did work (utilizing tempo within the first half), it utterly disappeared after halftime—and Pittsburgh’s momentum vanished with it.
However wait! There’s extra!
For many years, the Steelers have been a crew related to fearsome and formidable defenses. However similar to their potential to maneuver the ball persistently, that is gone now, too.
AP Picture/David Richard
Final 12 months, the Steelers fielded the worst run protection within the NFL, permitting 146.1 yards per sport. This 12 months, that quantity “improved” by means of two video games—to twenty second within the league at 128.5 yards per contest.
After going through the Browns, that quantity is headed within the incorrect route. Nick Chub, Kareem Hunt and the Browns gashed the Steelers for 171 yards on the bottom. Granted, the Browns generally tend to try this, however Week 3 was a repeat of Week 2 in opposition to the Pats—a worn-down Steelers protection being run on efficiently time and again within the second half.
The go protection is springing leaks, too. Final week it was Nelson Agholor posting at 6/110/1 stat line. Thursday, each broad receiver Amari Cooper (7/101/1) and tight finish David Njoku (9/89/1) had massive video games.
Nobody goes to confuse Mac Jones and Jacoby Brissett with Joe Montana and Tom Brady. However each had success in opposition to the Steelers. With edge-rusher TJ Watt sidelined by a torn pectoral muscle, Pittsburgh is producing subsequent to no go rush.
Subsequent Gen Stats @NextGenStats
Jacoby Brissett was pressured on simply 4 of 33 dropbacks within the Browns 29-17 victory over the Steelers, his lowest strain charge confronted (12.1%) in a sport in his profession.
That lack of strain is exposing a median group of cornerbacks. And Pittsburgh is being slowly, methodically dismantled.
The Steelers are dropping the third-down battle, changing at a considerably decrease share than their opponents the previous two weeks. They’re additionally dropping the time-of-possession battle to the tune of just about 20 minutes the final two video games.
They are not being outplayed in a single side of the sport. Shedding at one place. It is in all places. On each side of the ball.
It did not take lengthy for Tomlin to make it clear no massive adjustments have been coming for Week 4.
That will not make followers completely happy, however it’s hardly surprising. Tomlin is not the type of coach that makes knee-jerk adjustments. The Steelers aren’t that type of crew.
Or perhaps he realizes that pulling Trubisky or firing Canada, on some degree, would simply be re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Perhaps he is aware of that Pittsburgh’s issues transcend Trubisky. And Canada. And the offense.
Perhaps he is aware of that these Steelers are a flawed crew, and people flaws are being uncovered.
And perhaps he is aware of that streak of non-losing seasons might be toast.