The Steelers offense is sputtering. Some of that falls on the scheme, while others on the players. However, Texans and former Steelers cornerback Steven Nelson called out concerning trends within the Steelers’ offense, particularly its predictability and what they showed on tape each week.
Nelson highlights his interception against Kenny Pickett as the play that showcased that. The team ran the same concept on their 72-yard touchdown against the Raiders last week as they did on Nelson’s interception. Those plays side-by-side showcase just how similar those plays were. The only difference is the Steelers flipped the play call to the other side and seemingly changed the read to make the post the primary read. That shallow cross concept is something the team has run all season.
This is a sick interception by Steven Nelson. pic.twitter.com/xntBt7N8Kl
— DJ Bien-Aime (@Djbienaime) October 1, 2023
Kenny Pickett AIRS IT OUT to Calvin Austin for the TD 🔥
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 25, 2023
“It was just all film study, man,” Nelson said. “You know, watching what they do, what they were successful at. They hit the same player, same formation look like last week, they scored on the touchdown versus Vegas. And I was just ready for it. Recognizing the formation and the player who they run the post with, and it just allowed me to go out there and make a play on the ball.”
The Steelers have a multilayered issue on offense. Matt Canada, Kenny Pickett, offensive line, and injuries combine to make a nasty combination of hits. But when you get suboptimal offensive line play, bad quarterback play, and bad coaching, the Steelers offense is what you get. Pickett ranks last in the NFL in success rate on passing plays this year. He’s 34 out of 34. But the schematic undertones to this offense continue to pop up on film each game. This tendency on the shallow cross only continues that fact.
Something has to change. Mike Tomlin promised change following this game. The chances are that’s just lip service. If he’s serious about it, watch this main issue on offense. Something has to give, or you are doing the same things repeatedly, running the tires in the mud.