PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense has been mired in a rut for two games to start the 2022 season, and with just one day of practice on Tuesday to prepare for the third game of the season Thursday night in Cleveland.
The Steelers are 20th in points, 30th in yards and tied for 30th in yards per play. They’re 28th in passing yards and 26th in rushing yards. About the only thing they’re good at is avoiding the bad things. The Steelers are 10th in penalty yards and tied for 10th in turnovers.
The offense is not in a good place, and there’s only so much that can be done to make it better. A new offensive line is not walking through that door, and neither is a different quarterback or coordinator.
So what can the Steelers do in with their one practice to have a better offensive result this time out against the Browns? Let’s find some ways:
PLAY MORE TEMPO
The Steelers have not had many good offensive drives. The two really good ones were in overtime against the Bengals and across the third and fourth quarters against the Patriots. In both of those drives, the Steelers ran up-tempo or no huddle calls.
Against the Bengals, it was necessary do the timing of the game. Against New England, it just seemed to be what got the offense to click. Some more pace could help the offense get into a rhythm and disrupt what could be a banged up Cleveland defense.
“Pace has been a positive component for us thus far,” Trubisky said Wednesday. “We’d like to continue to build off that and hopefully it can become more part of our offense, for sure. You’ve seen positive plays where we go tempo, so we’d like to add more of that and see where it goes.”
MAKE TRUBISKY A THREAT
The Steelers spent all of last year lamenting their lack of quarterback mobility. Through two games, Trubisky has rushed four times. All of them have been scrambles. Getting the quarterback in some RPO or designed runs areas will give defenses some other things to think about and help make the Steelers’ somewhat simple game plan more effective.
“There’re continuous conversations of how I can use my legs, and then also toting that fine line of when to move in the pocket and when not to, using my legs,” Trubisky said. “There were a couple of times where I thought I had to move and really if I just trusted my timing within the play, I could’ve gotten the ball out sooner and just completed the ball.”
Trubisky has not been the most accurate passer overall, but he’s been better than average on the move, which makes even more sense to start him moving around the pocket.
Oof Justin Fields pic.twitter.com/GPqyxMzJeR
— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) September 20, 2022
RUN THE BALL MORE
Everyone will remember the Steelers’ final 2021 game against the Cleveland Browns as Ben Roethlisberger’s finale in Pittsburgh, but it was Najee Harris that was the difference-maker in that game. Roethlisberger was a pedestrian 24 of 46 for 123 yards, with one touchdown, one interception, two sacks and a 16.1 QBR.
Harris, on the other hand, rushed 28 times for 188 yards and a touchdown. The Browns are without Jadeveon Clowney and Chase Winovich and could be without Myles Garrett. The Steelers should be able to run the ball effectively against Cleveland once again this Thursday.