These past three games have been nothing short of an offensive revelation for the Pittsburgh Steelers, accumulating 15 touchdown drives behind Ben Roethlisberger, all through the air, though one of those 15 touchdown passes was thrown by the man who has eight of them himself, Antonio Brown.
In that span, the Steelers have put up 30, 51, and 43 points, though nine points in that second matchup were provided by the defense—seven on an interception return and another two on a safety.
The point is, however, that the Steelers have been averaging more than 41 points per game during their three-game winning streak. In fact, if we go back to the Steelers’ first two games at home, during which they scored 30 and 24 points, we find that, on the year, they continue to score in excess of 34 points per game at Heinz Field.
That home cooking has been the catalyst to Pittsburgh’s mid-season turnaround, taking a middling 3-3 team three games over .500 for the first time since Week 10 of the 2012 season, after which they proceeded to lose 11 of their next 15 games.
In other words, looking back at the Steelers’ history over the past three seasons, it’s a pretty big deal that they are where they are right now.
But as they prepare to embark on a string of four road games within the next six weeks (broken up by one home game and a bye week), could that be about to change?
I know I’ve been beating this horse until it’s dead, particularly over the last few weeks, but for the most part, the Steelers have simply been a dreadful team offensively away from the comforts of home in 2014, and one could argue that they are lucky to be 2-2 in the four road games they’ve already played.
One of those victories came over the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, by a score of 17-9 that didn’t feel very comfortable until Brice McCain came up with a pick six late in the game. The other W was sparked by a flurry of second-half turnovers and a defensive offside penalty on a field goal try that led to the Steelers recording their first touchdown in eight quarters.
The first of those road games was particularly dreadful, as the Baltimore Ravens proceeded to clobber them by a score of 26-6, the lowest the offense has scored since Week 15 of the 2011 season with a hobbled Roethlisberger playing on the road against a red hot San Francisco 49ers defense.
The Steelers offense has produced 10 points or less on its own during three of their four contests away from home. They had been terrible in the red zone, which at one point saw them drop to last in the league in terms of efficiency within 20 yards of the goal line.
That has been the direct opposite over the last three games with a reignited passing offense and the addition of Martavis Bryant into the mix, who has five touchdown receptions in his three games played. The question the Steelers must answer for themselves is whether or not they can duplicate this newfound success in a hostile environment.