Let’s just point out the obvious. Water is wet, the sky is blue, and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ red zone offense sucked yesterday. Not ok. Not bad. Sucked.
Worse than what Negan did on The Walking Dead last night.
By game’s end, the Steelers were just 1-4 in the red zone. They scored on their first trip, a toe-tap by Darrius Heyward-Bey, and that was it. They could’ve, should’ve, scored twice, but Heyward-Bey’s second score was negated by a Chris Hubbard hold.
That drive ended in a Chris Boswell whiff.
Three right before the half ended, though given the time, that one was more understandable.
There was the Steelers’ first drive of the game, gifted to them by New England, that ended in a Landry Jones’ interception. And that doesn’t even mention the fringe red zone failures. One that ended at the 28, another at the 26.
It strips the loss of all its context but you can sum the game, probably most games, in that stat.
Red Zone Offense
New England: 3-3
Tom Brady finished drives. Landry Jones didn’t. It was painfully obvious but Jones acknowledged that addressing the media after the game.
“We got to solve this red zone issue for us to be the offense we want to be.”
He, the de facto leader of the team, didn’t make any excuses for it.
“We just didn’t execute. Plain and simple. Just didn’t execute down there.”
Jones took full responsibility for his interception, calling it a “crappy ball” to Antonio Brown, one that robbed the Steelers of the opportunity to jump out to, at the least, a 3-0 lead.
And that’s all there really is to it. You can, we will, now that there’s two weeks to stew on it, analyze exactly what happened and what issues occurred, but when an offense that wants to score 30 keeps trotting out their kicker, it’s never going to happen.
Cash in on a couple of those chances, yeah, you can go back and play the “what if” game, and it takes a different complexion. Maybe not a win but certainly a closer game, a coin-flip.
Red zone woes should resolve themselves when Ben Roethlisberger returns. But if that isn’t for Week Nine’s game against Baltimore, a pivotal matchup to create some separation in the AFC North, and get the Steelers back on track, Jones and company better flip the switch.