The Pittsburgh Steelers offense has been bad this season, no one will object to that. However, this past Sunday they put up 30 points in their 37-30 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals which was their highest total all season.
Today, rookie wide receiver George Pickens spoke to the media, streamed via Steelers.com, about some of the positives he took away from the Steelers first 30 point game of the season.
“I’d probably say stretching the field and then third down conversions” said Pickens. “On third down we kind of capitalized, which in any football game you have to do to win the game or sustain points.”
The Steelers continued their trend of being successful on third down from the New Orleans Saints game going 8-17 in third down situations on Sunday. For reference, in their win over the Saints, the Steelers went 9-17 on third downs which helped propel them to a win.
Early on in the season the Steelers struggled to put up points due to their inability to convert third downs and have drives stall out because of it. This past weekend they had few issues extending drives and no issues kicking the football and which helped them not squander opportunities.
Other than scoring a season high 30 points, what was notable on Sunday’s game offensively was how comfortable the Steelers looked on offense starting the game. They usually only have maybe one or two good drives in the first half, but early on Kenny Pickett and Pittsburgh were able to hang in with Joe Burrow and the Bengals.
The next step for this Steelers offense will be to play a full 60 minute game. The offense sputtered to get anything going in the second half due to the adjustments the Bengals made on defense which made Pickett a bit uncomfortable and had the play calls that offensive coordinator Matt Canada called ineffective for the most part. Those two things together held the Steelers to ten second half points, with seven of them coming in garbage time.
With Pickett also getting more comfortable each week in throwing down the field, it is only a matter of time until the offense really starts to click. More consistent play from Pickett and better offensive adjustments by Canada will be vital for the Steelers to go from fifth worst offense via points per game, to a top half offense. While the 2022 season has been a wash up to this point for Pittsburgh, these final weeks will be building towards creating a bright future for the franchise, spearheaded by their rookies Pickett and Pickens.