The Pittsburgh Steelers have struggled finishing drives in the end zone all season, with just one offensive touchdown in each of their last two games and only four total over the team’s last three games. Pittsburgh has relied on the always-reliable leg of Chris Boswell, but it hasn’t been enough for a struggling offense that needs to score touchdowns to win. Center Mason Cole talked about the need for more execution in the red zone.
“Fundamentally, we got to be better, especially when we get down in those tight red zone areas,” Cole said in a video posted to the team’s website. “Those points we can get in the red zone, we need six. You can’t kick field goals and think you’re gonna win all these games. It’s the NFL, it’s not going to work. You gotta score touchdowns.”
The Steelers’ offense just hasn’t been able to put points on the board this year. The offense hasn’t scored more than 20 points in a game this year, which makes them the only team in the league that hasn’t reached at least 21. They’re the lowest scoring offense in the NFL, and a big part of that is their inability to score when they get in the red zone.
Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett talked after the game yesterday about how long drives can be detrimental to the Pittsburgh offense, and the need for more explosive plays. When the field gets smaller in the red zone, the Steelers haven’t been able to do much of anything, which has led to them settling for field goals instead of finishing drives in the end zone.
While the need to execute better in the red zone is clear and obvious, an increase in splash plays and shot plays can help this team find ways to score. Yesterday, while rare, the Eagles’ offense scored 35 points while running just one play from the red zone. If Pittsburgh can capitalize on throwing deep to guys like Chase Claypool (who needs to be better in 50-50 situations) and George Pickens while scheming ways for Diontae Johnson to succeed on underneath routes and pick up yards after the catch, this offense will be better off. Right now though, it’s a dink-and-dunk unit due to its lack of success on the deep ball that can’t capitalize when the field starts to shrink.
There are a lot of issues with this team right now, but the total lack of any momentum offensively is the biggest one. It’s like you can count on the team scoring a touchdown and then doing next to nothing on offense for the rest of the game. Scoring 20 or less points a week isn’t going to beat many teams in the league at all. If Pittsburgh wants to pick things up after the bye week, the offense is going to be the number one thing that has to improve.