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Steelers Analysis & Film Study

Steelers Stat Pack: Offense Continues to Falter, Chubb Runs Wild



Steelers QB Mitch Trubisky

The Steelers lost in Cleveland 29-17 in an ugly game as the offense still stagnated, the defense got shredded on the ground, and the conditions in the city caught up to them. With the offense still not finding its identity and a sense of rhythm, how can the Steelers move forward? What do the stats say about their performance against the Browns? It still does not paint a pretty picture for Pittsburgh.

Offense Faltering Drive after Drive

The Steelers’ offense continues to struggle not only at scoring points, averaging a modest 14.7 points per game, but they still lack a level of cohesion that allows them to be successful. So, when they rank last in yards per drive and they have the most three-and-outs in the NFL on a per rate basis.

Thus far, the Steelers are averaging only 23.7 yards per drive, and go three-and-out on 32 percent of their drives, both worst in the NFL.

Not only that, but according to Warren Sharp, that is the worst mark for the Steelers since at least 2000. The offense right now is not only bad, but for the franchise, it is historically bad. Something has to change no matter what, and if the Steelers can not fix this moving forward, the downward spiral as a team will only continue. Sustaining drives continues to be an issue. The Browns ran 69 plays to the Steelers’ 42 plays. Simply put, the defense continues to be on the field for absurd amounts of time.

Nick Chubb Goes Beast Mode

There is no doubt that Browns running back Nick Chubb is a special talent, but just how special is he? The entire nation got to see just how good the Browns star running back is on Thursday night as Chubb diced up the Steelers’ run defense like it was nothing. In fact, the blocking for Cleveland was not at its best on Thursday night. Chubb created so many yards after contact that of the 113 rushing yards he put on the stat sheet, he was charted as having 115 yards after contact by Next Gen Stats.

That speaks to the lack of tackling consistency that the Steelers played with as a whole on Thursday night. They were unable to fully wrap up Chubb and he made magic happen consistently. Even if Chubb is as good as he is, that stat is inexcusable for a Steelers defense that sold out to slow down Chubb. If they want to win games in the future, the rushing attacks they go up against can not carve them up.

Scary Yards Per Attempt

Through three games, Trubisky is averaging a putrid 5.5 yards per attempt this season. That is on pace to be the worst since 2016, when a rookie Jared Goff struggled mightily for the Rams in his first season with the team. Other companions for Trubisky’s number over the past decade include Ryan Mallett in 2015, rookie year Derek Carr, and long-forgotten Cardinals quarterback John Skelton.

Trubisky’s yards per attempt number is not just bad and the worst in the NFL right now — it is scarily bad. That is something that needs to be turned around fast. There are a lot of inconsistencies around Trubisky as it stands, but his play has not been up to par. If the Steelers are going to turn this offense around, Trubisky has to be a massive part of that solution.

A Half of Success

The Steelers did have a promising first half that seemed to get the ball moving in the right direction. In just one half, the offense matched its total touchdown output for the entire season. They moved the ball up and down the field at will it seemed. There was no question they had found something, right? The second half revealed a frustrating level of inconsistency, but in the entire first half, the Steelers did not get a third down conversion. It would be easy to say that is a bad thing, and their overall 1/9 on third down in the game is not ideal.

However, the team stayed ahead of the sticks, netting 14 first downs on either first or second down. They did not get a third-down conversion because they were efficient and never needed one. That was impressive, and the rhythm and groove the Steelers got into was something we had not seen before from them this year. It needs to show up, but with a level of consistency against the Jets.

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