PITTSBURGH — Believe it or not, the Steelers offense sometimes has a pulse. They drove the ball well against the Arizona Cardinals in their loss at Acrisure Stadium. That is at least whenever they could get lined up correctly and receive a solid snap. The group did march down the field enough to make noise happen. They came away empty-handed on many of those trips.
Man, the Steelers can not get the red zone stuff figured out for the life of them. Last week, they frankly pummelled the Bengals’ defense but kept it close because they can not turn three into seven. The same thing happened this week. Pittsburgh ended up inside the Cardinals’ 30-yard line three times before their garbage-time touchdown. They came away with three points. The Steelers can move the ball but can not finish in the end zone.
The red zone is where well-coached units step up. Good coaches have the players ready down to the detail with each call because when you have the tight area like the red zone, you need to be hyper-alert on these details. The Steelers were not, and it is crushing this group. Pittsburgh legitimately outgained the Cardinals and lost. So, it does not matter if you can not turn that into points. That’s the common theme here. You can’t trust the offense until that happens. And it will make the margin for error that much tighter.
“It has nothing to do with the coordinator,” tight end Pat Freiermuth said. “It has everything to do with the players. It’s not the coordinator’s fault that we’re lining up wrong and jumping offsides. It’s not the coordinator’s fault at all, it’s never been. We’ve got to fix it. The players.”
I tend to agree with Freiermuth on a lot of that. These red zone issues are indicative of these struggles. Pittsburgh does have an easy matchup, but not a cakewalk in the Bill Belichick-coached defense. These details will matter as much as any week if they want to step on the gas pedal and beat the Patriots like they should.