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Farabaugh: It’s Time for Steelers to Trust Offensive Line



Steelers OT Chukwuma Okorafor

The Steelers’ offense is still stagnant. There are plenty of issues to worry about from the play calling, quarterback play, miscommunication, drops, and more. However, one of the few bright spots on the offense might just be the one with the most questions coming into the season — the offensive line.

Sure, no one expected it, but the offensive has been incredibly solid through three games. In those three games, they have only surrendered 11 total pressures and have not been credited with allowing a sack yet in the game according to PFF. According to Next Gen Stats, Trubisky is holding onto the football for 2.71 seconds, the 13th fastest in the NFL. That is firmly in the middle of the pack, and it was a healthy 2.94 time to throw in Week 3.

Trubisky and Matt Canada have been designed to protect this offensive line a bit. There is no doubt that rollouts, sprint outs, chips, max protects, and more are being designed to help this unit a bit. However, to this point, they have started to let the ball air out the ball a bit more. Whenever they have been less protected, that unit has stepped up and held its own.

And how about the run blocking? The Steelers have gained an entire yard in their per carry rate since week one against the Bengals. In the first game, they only averaged 3.4 yards per carry. In Week 2, they averaged 4.1 yards per carry against the Patriots. Then, in Week 3, they averaged 4.7 yards per carry. That is constant growth and it seems the Steelers are starting to figure things out.

So, when the Steelers will not run shot plays and Hi-Lo a middle-of-the-field safety because they do not trust the offensive line to block for their quarterback. There is a lack of trust here between a quarterback and offensive coordinator towards their offensive line. After a strong start to the season, this needs to change.

It is time for the Steelers to at least give the offensive line a chance. Are they actually good? That remains to be seen as three games is such a small sample size. However, there is no way to truly find out unless the Steelers let the offense fully rip it into go mode. That is what they need to move forward. With tough games such as the Bills, Buccaneers, Dolphins, and Eagles coming up, Pittsburgh will not just have to play good defense, but score some points to keep up with the rest of the league.

Part of that has to come with a trust of an offensive line that is overachieving and frankly improving over time. The Steelers’ offensive has at the very least earned an opportunity to prove if they are good or not. Because what is the downside of a stagnant offense? If they end up not being good, then the Steelers will have to lie in the bed they made. But if they are not? The entire offensive playbook is open.

It is past time for the offensive line to get their chance to rock and roll. With the struggles this offense is having at this point, it is time to stop protecting them.

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