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New Stat Reveals Steelers’ Horrifyingly Bad Passing Offense



Steelers QB Kenny Pickett
Steelers QB Kenny Pickett against the Arizona Cardinals, Dec. 3, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Steelers’ passing offense has struggled to get anything going all season. That is why the team predictably ranks last in passing touchdowns this season with just nine. Kenny Pickett has just six touchdowns this year while Mitch Trubisky has three. Regardless of that, this is now not just a one-year phenomenon. Like the recently broken 400-yard streak, the Steelers have another putrid streak brewing right under their nose.

Since Ben Roethlisberger retired, the Steelers have zero games of 250 passing yards and two touchdowns among their quarterbacks. It has never happened. And yet Joe Flacco and the Browns have done it twice in the past two weeks in his first two starts with the team.

This does not need that much context. It’s not just bad quarterback play or poor play calling but both. The Steelers have received nothing out of their passing offense for those two years, and over that span, they have the fewest passing touchdowns in the league. That’s not surprising in the slightest, but it illustrates how much stress is put on the run game, and a big reason as to why the Steelers offense has become one of the worst units in the NFL over that period.

The Steelers’ play-calling woes continue. Even after Canada is gone, Mike Sullivan has the same tendencies that Canada did, if not worse. The big play call of the game, of course, was the 4th and 2 launch to Johnson that made little sense. Tomlin backed it up, saying the team wanted to be aggressive. Stuff like that, a massive disconnect, is why you will see the team fall short in all aspects of competent offensive football.

Of course, they did not try to run it once in that scenario before the two-minute warning. But, they will run it on 2nd-and-17 after a botched double reverse. The Steelers do not have a coherent building process in their gameplan. More than that, when something finally works, they spam it. They can tendency break once in a blue moon, but the team will spam that until the team adjusts and then run it some more before finally scrapping it out of the playbook. Plays do not build on each other to any meaningful point. The play sequencing continues to fall far beyond where it needs to be. And this is not going to be fixed until at least next season. They just do not have the guys, on the coaching staff or football field, to fix it.