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Farabaugh: Steelers Must Finish Drives to Take Offense to Next Level




The Steelers have not finished drives with consistency in recent weeks. Following the bye week, Pittsburgh is doing a great job getting sustained drives on the ground and moving the ball. However, far too often they have settled for three instead of six, which has kept teams such as the Atlanta Falcons and Indianapolis Colts in the game when they otherwise should not be.

Mike Tomlin was not pleased with the result, either. Currently, the Steelers lead the NFL in drives over 10 plays or more. In order for that to work, Pittsburgh needs to start punching the ball into the endzone. Otherwise, close games occur, and it could lead to losses down the schedule.

“We settled for field goals some and that’s always concerning, but there’s always going to be things to work on after the games. I prefer to do that with the W as opposed to an L, so we will work,” Tomlin said.

Kenny Pickett sees a few ways that the offense can start to finish drives. On one hand, Pickett sees himself as an issue, citing his overthrow of Pat Freiermuth as one of those key moments. Then, there are the penalties that back the Steelers up once they get into plus territory. Those two things combined force Pittsburgh to settle for less than they should after staying ahead of the sticks throughout the game.

“I think connecting on the one to Pat [Freiermuth], I’ve got to give him a better ball and put it on him,” Pickett said. “And the penalties when we got backed up obviously hurt us down there. So those are two things that stuck out off the bat. I definitely need to put a better pass out there for Pat, and he would have scored there as well.”

It is even apparent to a rookie like Connor Heyward, who caught his first touchdown on Sunday, that the Steelers must finish drives. A lot comes with the team getting in their own way in a variety of different ways. Some of it relates to the volatility of having a young offense. But on the other hand, some of it goes back to a lack of execution and concentration for long drives.

“Last week, we talked about how we got in the red zone a lot and didn’t capitalize as I said earlier, and then you saw that in the second half today,” Heyward said. “I think we did a really good job of time possession, moving the ball.”

Pittsburgh hopes to move forward with wins in their pocket. They have won two straight for the first time all season. If they want to continue that streak against the Ravens next Sunday, Pittsburgh will need to improve as a unit offensively.

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