If there’s been one consistent theme about this offense through the first five games of the season for the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s that the end result will be inconsistent.
Speaking strictly of the offense, the Steelers are now averaging exactly 20 points per game after putting up 100 points in total.
But those points have certainly not been evenly distributed.
In two home games thus far, the Steelers are averaging 27 points per game, scoring 30 points in the season opener against the Cleveland Browns and then 24 points last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which proved not to be enough.
On the road against the Carolina Panthers—arguably the team’s toughest opponent thus far—the Steelers offense produced 30 points on its own on the back of two Ben Roethlisberger touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown from LeGarrette Blount. The special teams added another score to make it 37.
In the other two road games? Roethlisberger and the offense have produced a total of 16 points. The Steelers managed a meager six points in the Week Two loss to the Baltimore Ravens on the road.
Just this past Sunday, the offense could only eke out a single Roethlisberger touchdown pass and a Shaun Suisham field goal. It took a pick six on the defense to spare an offensive turnover and give the team some breathing room to finish of the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars.
In all, the Steelers offense has produced 54 points in two home games, compared to 46 points on the road in three games thus far, averaging just a trace over 15 points per game.
It goes without saying that that will not be enough.
Pittsburgh will be on the road again on Sunday in their second game against the Browns, who stormed back to put up 24 second-half points on this defense on the road. They also just so happen to be coming off the biggest road comeback victory in NFL history.
They must find a way to generate not just offense, but scores on the offensive side of the ball, going forward.
Against Carolina, the breakthrough came with a defensive turnover after the offense had to settle for three field goals in the first half. The defense came down with some key turnovers in the last game as well, so perhaps that is changing.
Of course, three games is too small a sample size on which to judge something conclusively, and if we’ve learned anything from last season, it’s that a team can grow and develop during the course of the season.
The early offensive returns on the road, however, have not been kind, and need to change soon. Will it be soon enough to come out with a victory this Sunday?