The Pittsburgh Steelers need to thank the Philadelphia Eagles for what they did Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Steelers, entering the game at 2-5, weren’t exactly lighting up fields across the nation to this point in 2022. You probably know the lowlights:
- Last in the AFC North
- Near the bottom of the NFL in every offensive category of note
- Free-falling toward a sub-.500 (and possibly sub-.250) record
- Average defense at best without 2021 Defensive Player of the Year TJ Watt
All this, and optimism lingered in the nooks and crannies of black-and-gold discussions.
Maybe, if the Steelers just fired offensive coordinator Matt Canada, things would be OK.
Maybe, if Najee Harris’ foot heals up a little more, things will turn around.
Maybe, once Watt returns, the defense will regain its edge (figuratively and literally).
The Steelers’ issues run deep. Funny enough, Harris himself said it weeks ago.
And the Eagles exposed it all.
Not one phase of this game went the Steelers’ way. I mean, just look at this:
- Jalen Hurts: 19/28 (68%), 285 yards, 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
- A.J. Brown: 6 receptions, 156 yards, 3 touchdowns
- Miles Sanders: 9 carries, 78 yards (8.7 yards per carry), 1 touchdown
- Eagles Defense: six sacks, one interception, one fumble, one fumble recovery, 13 points allowed
My god, man.
That is a layered, thorough ass-whooping. The Eagles did what they wanted when they wanted to do it against the Steelers.
And the takeaway is simple:
The Steelers are a bad football team –– and they’re not getting closer to “good” as currently constructed.
Through eight games, the Steelers already faced the frontrunners in both the AFC (Buffalo Bills) and the NFC (Philadelphia Eagles).
The combined score of those two games?
Seventy-three. To sixteen.
It’s not close. Kenny Pickett isn’t getting better at putting points on the board or at protecting the football.
Harris still can’t see.
Fourth down coming up for Steelers pic.twitter.com/9KVDSZXSNM
— DIE-HARD 🦅 Fans (@Eaglesfans9) October 30, 2022
Don’t worry, though. He took accountability for plays like that.
“I can’t make a hole,” Harris said inside the locker room after the loss to the Eagles. “I can’t do everything. I try to control what I can control. I don’t know what more I can do other than just vocalize it. At the end of the day, everybody has to do their job.”
The Steelers’ playcalling remains hilariously predictable and ineffective.
Kenny Pickett’s passing chart pic.twitter.com/ALWUM3SOPu
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) October 30, 2022
Heading into this showdown with the Eagles, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he just wasn’t quite ready to make a major change.
Canada hasn’t quite clicked, sure. But Tomlin’s “not there yet” when it comes to replacing him.
The trend continues.
In Matt Canada’s now 26 games as #Steelers OC, the offense has failed to score over 20 points in 21 of those games.
All five occurrences came last season. @937theFan
— Josh Rowntree (@JRown32) October 30, 2022
After Sunday, Tomlin needs to be there. And if he isn’t, Art Rooney II needs to be there for him. Canada isn’t good at his job and hasn’t been good at his job since he took over as offensive coordinator in 2021.
Walking papers need to be served, and the Eagles just sealed the envelope. Ready for delivery.
With this loss, any facade of “Hey, we’re getting there, guys! Stay the course.” crumbled like Three Rivers Stadium on a cold Sunday in February 2001.
Steelers coaches and leadership clearly weren’t going to make the change on their own. They needed to be exposed, and the Eagles did that in full.
No more excuses. No more false optimism.
The 2022 Steelers have major issues, and to stay the course would be to accept something less than mediocrity. It’d be insane.
This loss was awful –– but it could be the start of real, desperately needed changes in the Steel City.
So go ahead. Send the Eagles that gift basket.
I already saved you a step:
One NovaCare Way
Philadelphia, PA 19145