What kind of offense will the Pittsburgh Steelers be in the postseason? If the bulk of the regular season is any indication, then it will be one that primarily relies upon short passes to move the ball down the field, hoping to get some yards after the catch here and there to supplement—with a deep defensive pass interference sprinkled in.
Recent weeks have offered some hints of encouragement, surprisingly enough, most obviously in the deep passing game, with the Steelers having successfully completed a number of deep passes. But they have also posted a solid success rate on their sparse rush attempts as well. You can throw in the Joshua Dobbs wrinkle as well.
When it comes to the offensive linemen, however, all of this sort of stuff is above their pay grade, or so they would say. They might have opinions generally about offensive play, but they won’t ever say what they feel their team should do. Take David DeCastro’s lead.
“I just think it goes back to being balanced and keeping defenses honest. If you’re one-dimensional, it’s easy to script for it”, he told reporters yesterday. “There’s only so much you can do, but you can complement things and keep them guessing a little bit. That makes our life easier on offense. But like I said from the get go a couple weeks ago, it’s whatever it takes to win. I don’t really care how we get it done, but it’s definitely easier that way”.
Regardless of what style of offense a team runs, it is always preferable to be able to do anything and everything at an efficient level. The Steelers have…not been that team this year. In fact, outside of scoring, they have been among the least efficient offenses in the league.
And yet they won 12 of their first 15 games before resting starters in the finale, and are hosting a playoff game, so things certainly could have been worse. But the margin for error is how virtually down to zero. They must know that they have to be better offensively than they have been most weeks.
Will they run the ball? Will they be able to do it well? Will they be able to connect on some deep pass attempts? Will their short passing game be efficient enough to move the ball down the field? Will it be less predictable, enough to prevent the defense from keying on their plays and stopping them short?