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Steelers Projected To Have Third-Lowest Scoring Offense In NFL In 2022 By ESPN

Even after adding some serious playmaking in the form of rookie wide receiver George Pickens to pair with the likes of Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and Pat Freiermuth as pass catchers, and star running back Najee Harris out of the backfield, not to mention much better scheme fits for second-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada under center in veteran quarterback Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett, the Steelers’ offense is projected to be one of the lowest-scoring teams in the NFL in 2022.

According to projections by ESPN’s Mike Clay, the Steelers are projected to be the third-lowest scoring team in the NFL in 2022 with just 320 points, finishing just ahead of the Houston Texans (317 points) and Atlanta Falcons (312) for lowest-scoring teams in the NFL in the projections that published Sunday.

Though the projections are based on the offensive unit as a whole, the Steelers are seemingly held back in Clay’s projections by the offensive line, which Clay calls the league’s shakiest overall, which isn’t far off.

That said, the Steelers are loaded at the skill positions and should be better under center in Year 2 under Canada than Pittsburgh was a year ago with Ben Roethlisberger in his final season, a year in which the Steelers scored 343 points and won nine games, in large part due to Roethlisberger’s career-best seven game-winning drives and six fourth-quarter comebacks.

Despite some of the upgrades and better fits in Canada’s scheme, Clay sees a worse season on the horizon for the Steelers’ offense overall.

“It’s hard to imagine a squad led by coach Mike Tomlin finishing this low, but this is a team that scored 343 points with Ben Roethlisberger last season and will now be relying on Mitch Trubisky and rookie Kenny Pickett behind arguably the league’s shakiest offensive line,” Clay writes in his projections piece for ESPN.com Sunday. “Perhaps a good group of skill players — including Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth and George Pickens — will boost this number a bit.”

As seemingly everyone around the Steelers in the media landscape and in the fanbase have talked about all offseason, the success (or failure) of the offense in Year 2 under Canada will come down to the offensive line, not who is under center. Granted, quarterback is the most important position in all of sports, but the Steelers have three capable options there in Trubisky, Pickett and veteran Mason Rudolph.

They won’t be able to do much behind a porous offensive line unless that unit gels quickly and improves in a hurry under first-year offensive line coach Pat Meyer.

That said, there’s far too much talent on the roster offensively for the Steelers to be one of the least-scoring offenses in football, and to finish a full 23 points behind the offense from a year ago, which didn’t have the talent at receiver the Steelers have now, or the athleticism and mobility under center that the Steeles currently have.

The 320 points on the year averages out to just 18.8 points per game. That’s a lot of heavy lifting the Steelers’ defense would have to do this season if the Steelers are to push for the playoffs once again. I’m not saying the Steelers are going to be lighting up scoreboards anytime soon in 2022, but averaging under 20 points per game doesn’t feel accurate for this group overall, at least on paper, even with the line issues.

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