The Pittsburgh Steelers offense had five drives in the first half of the game. They picked up at least one first down on all of them, scored two touchdowns, and attempted a field goal that was just missed. They also passed on an opportunity to attempt another field goal on the final drive of the half with the clock running out.
They only picked up at least one first down on just two of their six drives in the second half, going three and out four times, although that includes the final one-play, nine-second drive at the end of the game. Clearly, things fell apart after halftime.
“We’ve just got to be better in the second half”, quarterback Mitch Trubisky said after the game. “I thought the first half we did pretty good. We’re getting there, it’s just not where it needs to be in order to get a victory. I thought in the first half we made steps in the right direction. Second half just wasn’t good enough”.
There were certainly stretches during last night’s game in which it actually looked like the offense might have put things together. They completed two consecutive 75-yard drives that they finished by putting the ball into the end zone, and even the drive that followed that ended the first half was promising until the end.
They did start out the second half moving the ball as well, running 10 plays for 43 yards, ending on Cleveland’s side of the field, but they failed to pick up a first down on their next three drives; meanwhile, the Browns were extending drives with power on the ground.
“Inconsistency? Second half, I would say yeah. It was just inconsistent not hitting those plays that we needed”, Trubisky said. “We hit some the first half, that’s why we scored 14 points. 3 points in the second half isn’t gonna do it for us, so I would say not putting two halves together would be inconsistent”.
The most frustrating element of this offense is that there are those drives where it looks like everything comes together. That touchdown drive in the second half of Sunday’s game was of the same ilk, and it’s not just because they finished the drives. The way they executed on those drives are how this unit is supposed to work.
But it too often doesn’t, and there are too many reasons why. One thing I will say is that it seemed upon initial viewing that the offense was more varied on Thursday night than it had been the first two weeks. But until they can get some semblance of consistency going, they will be lucky to break 20 points on offense.