The Steelers’ loss to the Chargers still stings just a few days later. With a chaotic AFC playoff picture, a win would’ve been huge.
Despite the loss though, there were some positives to take away from the game. The Steelers offense put up 37 points, by far their season-high, including 27 in the fourth quarter. They certainly benefitted from multiple short field situations, but the offense looked better.
“I think we only punted once [in the fourth quarter],” Ben Roethlisberger said Wednesday via audio from the team. “We finally were able to put some points on the board.”
The 27-point fourth quarter was an obvious season-high as well. The blocked punt that set the offense up at the Chargers’ one-yard line virtually handed them seven points. The same can be said for the Cam Sutton interception that started them at the Chargers’ 11-yard line.
With that being said, the offense did have an 84-yard TD drive as well as a 57-yard drive that resulted in a field goal. The two sides of the football played the definition of complimentary football in that last quarter.
“I don’t know our stats in terms of third down conversions and things like that, but there is some encouraging things to be found from that game. Unfortunately you don’t win, that’s the worst part. There’s some things that we can still grow on.”
The Steelers rank 13th in the NFL in third down conversion this season at 42%. They went 8-for-15 on Sunday, including 4-for-8 in the fourth quarter. That was certainly a key contributor to their offensive success.
At this point in the season though, it’s clear the Steelers don’t possess a high-octane offense like in the past. As a result, they’ll need to take advantage of short fields like they did in Sunday’s fourth quarter. Chris Boswell did still have three field goals, meaning the offense would like to convert touchdowns at a better rate.
There continues to be baby steps made in the progression of the offense. They continue to be far too inconsistent to be trusted for the full 60 minutes. We’ll see how they do on the road in Cincinnati this weekend in another game with huge playoff implications.