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Panic is not a word usually associated with the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are quite possibly the most consistent team in sports. Over half a century, they have changed three head coaches. They have won the Super Bowl six times. Their current head coach has never had a losing season.
But anxiety levels on the banks of Monongahela are on the rise because Mike Tomlin The undefeated season is in very serious jeopardy. After Thursday night’s 29-17 loss to the Jacoby Brissett-led Cleveland Browns, Steel City’s talk radio will undoubtedly focus on removing quarterback Mitch Trubisky and using a first-round pick. Kenny Pickett replaced him on the idea.
But the reality is that Trubisky’s limitations aren’t the only problem with the Steelers. Or their biggest problem. This team has real problems on both ends of the floor — switching centers won’t fix it.
The previous week, also appeared in The Mike Tomlin Show on the team’s YouTube channel, Pittsburgh’s head coach said he wasn’t considering major changes to the starting lineup — including quarterbacks.
“I don’t even have this discussion around here, man,” Tomlin via Steelers Nation’s Bob Quinn Say. “I’m more concerned with our collective growth and development and what we want to do to win. [Trubisky] is just one component of that.”
Tomlin’s patience was tested on Thursday night in a game that has appeared in many games. Respect for a copy of Pittsburgh’s Week 2 loss to the New England Patriots.
The good news for the Steelers offense is that the team has set a season high in yardage. The bad news is that the maximum distance that season was 308 yards. Pittsburgh finished last in the AFC in total offense on Thursday, and this week’s total offense didn’t help the rankings much.
Was Trubisky responsible for another lackluster offensive effort? certainly. His numbers on Thursday proved mediocre — 20 of 32 attempts for 207 yards and an 81.1 passer rating. Once again, Trubisky categorically refuses to attack the middle.
This is not new. This is the theme throughout the season.
Marcus [email protected]_Mosher
Here’s Steelers QB Mitchell Trubisky’s passing chart in Week 2 via NFL’s Next Gen Stats : pic. twitter.com/Q63PmTOf0L
But it would be unfair to just blame this offense on Trubisky’s inability to average 300 yards three weeks into the season. There is a lot of blame.
Pittsburgh enters Week 3, seventh in NFL ground games, averaging 83 yards per game . That number will rise after the Steelers amass 104 yards on 22 carries, but their ground game looks pathetic compared to Cleveland.
Leading linebacker Naji Harris has yet to get into any form this season, and Week 3 is no exception. His 15 tote carries are just 3.7 yards per carry — that’s actually his best average of the season. Coming into the week, he averaged less than three yards per game.
) Gregory Shams/Getty Images
This is not good, guys.
Of course, Trubisky and Harris’ struggles can be traced back to another issue. The Steelers have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus ranked the Pittsburgh forward 28th in the league in his most recent offensive line rankings.
Yes, only that line allows one sack against the Browns. But the Pittsburgh front was once again unable to open the hole for the run game to say the sack came for a crucial third in the second half. Lest you think he’ll survive, offensive coordinator Matt Canada is also to blame. Canada’s call for the game has died down again amid reports that some in the organization are increasingly frustrated with the OC the following year. When Canada found something that actually did work (used in the first half rhythm), it completely disappeared after halftime — and so did Pittsburgh’s momentum.
But wait! there are more!
For decades, the Steelers have been a ball associated with a fearsome and powerful defense team. But like their ability to keep moving the ball, it’s gone now.
) AP Photo/David Richard
Last year, the Steelers had the worst defense in the NFL, allowing 146.1 yards per game . This year, that number “improved” through two games — 22nd in the league at 128.5 yards per game.
After facing the Browns, the number went in the wrong direction. Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt and the Browns routed the Steelers for 171 yards on the ground. Granted, the Browns have a tendency to do so, but Week 3 was a repeat of Week 2 against the Patriots — the Steelers managed to run down defenses time and time again in the second half.
Pass defense has also sprung up. Last week was Nelson Agholor posting 6/110/1 stats. Wide receiver Amari Cooper (7/101/1) and tight end David Njoku (9/89/1) have big games on Thursday.
No one would confuse Mac Jones and Jacoby Brissett with Joe Montana and Tom Brady. But both had success against the Steelers. With a torn pectoral muscle sidelined by edge rusher TJ Watt, Pittsburgh is producing a rush with little to no passing.
Jacoby Brissett made just 4 of 33 pullbacks in Browns’ 29-17 win over Steelers Under pressure, the lowest pressure rate he has faced in a game (12.1%)
The lack of pressure is exposing the average cornerback group. Pittsburgh is being demolished slowly and methodically.
The Steelers are losing Game 3 with a significantly lower conversion rate than their past two weeks opponent. They have also lost nearly 20 minutes of possession time in their past two games.
They are not surpassed in one aspect of the game. lose in one position. Everywhere. on both sides of the ball.
Tomlin was quick to make it clear that there were no major changes in week 4.
Brooke Pryor@bepryor Ask Mike Tomlin if he considers changing QB or player in mini goodbye
Tomlin: “Absolutely not.”
This won’t make fans happy, but it’s not surprising. Tomlin isn’t the kind of coach who makes a knee-jerk change. The Steelers are not that kind of team.
Or maybe he realized that at some point Ratrubisky or firing Canada would just rearrange the Titanic recliner. Perhaps he knew that Pittsburgh’s problems were not limited to Trubisky. And Canada. And offense.
Maybe he knows these Steelers are a flawed team, and those flaws are being exposed.
And maybe he knew that a winning streak season could be a toast.