Steelers Must Improve Their First Quarter And Red Zone Offense Moving Forward

The Pittsburgh Steelers offense is still struggling in two key areas as they enter their game this coming Sunday against the Detroit Lions and if those areas do not improve in that game, they will surely suffer their seventh loss of the season.

Through the first nine games of the 2013 season, the Steelers offense has scored all of 17 points. While quarterback Ben Roethlisberger does sport a respectable 63.8% completion ratio so far in the first quarter of games this season, he has turned the ball over a total of five times, been sacked nine times and the offense as a whole has a meager 24.4% first down percentage.

If the poor first quarter production isn’t bad enough, the Steelers offense is currently ranked 28th in the league in red zone percentage (44.83%). While he has yet to throw an interception inside the opposition’s 20 yard-line this season, Roethlisberger’s been charged with two lost fumbles and has been sacked nine times in that area of the field.

Of the 13 red zone touchdowns produced so far by the Steelers offense through the first nine games, wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery has six of them while running back Le’Veon Bell has four. Five of those 13 red zone scores have come in the last two games with Cotchery being responsible for four of them.

The Lions defense is currently tied for 4th in the league when it comes to the red zone percentage (41.67%), so you can clearly see the challenge the Steelers offense will face this Sunday. In addition to that, the Lions defense has only given up three first quarter touchdowns and two field goals so far this season. Curiously enough, all three of those touchdowns came from 32 or more yards out and two of them were from 78 and 82 yards out.

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