The Pittsburgh Steelers finish the regular season as a rather unremarkable offense. They ended up ranking 12th in points scored, 24th in yardage, 26th in first downs, and 22nd in scoring percentage, just to give you an example. They ranked dead last in rushing yardage, as well as yards per attempt.
Despite this, those on offense enter the postseason confident that they are on the right track and are capable of winning games. Things have been better than they had been, admittedly, over the past six quarters, even with Mason Rudolph playing last Sunday. The deep pass has finally resurfaced, and while they are not running a lot, they have had a decent success rate when doing it.
Steelers rookie wide receiver caught five passes on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns for 101 yards and a touchdown. He finished his rookie season with 62 receptions for 873 yards and nine receiving touchdowns, 11 offensive touchdowns overall, breaking or tying a few franchise rookie records along the way.
“I think, as the weeks go on, we’re able to fix things that haven’t worked”, he told reporters earlier today. “We’ll go through a slide, but that’ll give us something to correct in practice. That’s what we’ve been able to do, and I think we’re just getting our rhythm back”.
They had better hope so, because they have only scored 118 points over the span of the past six games, averaging under 20 points per game, and that’s with a defensive touchdown thrown in. Though they didn’t manage it against the Steelers, their first-round opponent, the Browns, is capable of putting up 40-plus points and having success both in the passing game and the running game.
“I think we kind of found our groove a little bit, starting with the second half of the Colts game and into this Browns game. I think we’ll be just fine going into the playoffs offensively”, Claypool added when he was interviewed on SiriusXM.
— Steelers Depot 🎄 (@Steelersdepot) January 4, 2021
Chances are that the rookie wide receiver will play a big role in any offensive success over the course of the Steelers’ playoff run. Head coach Mike Tomlin pretty much said after yesterday’s game that they wanted to get him warmed up for the postseason, and had previously stated that they were managing his snaps in the second half of the season to help him avoid burnout.
Now he and the rest of the receivers are more or less healthy and ready to roll, with all of them having found some level of success within the past couple of weeks. They will have to find the end zone, but they have five guys who’ve found it at least five times through the air this year, tying an NFL record, so they have options.