That’s what the Steelers offense has produced through two games of the 2022 regular season.
Fifty-two minutes and forty-two seconds. That’s how much time the Steelers offense has possessed the football through two weeks—out of a total of 130 minutes of game time, by the way.
Thirty-two yards. That’s the Steelers' longest offensive play from scrimmage through two weeks. Did you wager any money on Zach Gentry, the former quarterback and current number-two tight end, being the man who gained those 32 yards on a screen pass in Week 1? If so, you’re likely a little wealthier today.
The Steelers offense isn’t wealthier in 2022. It was certainly pocket poor in that crazy and wacky Week 1 overtime win in Cincinnati.
If Sunday’s 17-14 loss to the Patriots at Acrisure Stadium was any indication, this Steelers' offense needs to file for bankruptcy, because it seems as if there are no tangible assets it can use to get out of the revolving debt it’s been saddled with since late in the 2020 season.
We keep hearing about what opposing defenses are doing to neutralize Pittsburgh’s offense, but what is the plan to attack these opposing defenses?
Why has it been the same unimaginative and impotent attack for almost two calendar years? The Steelers are on their second quarterback, second running back, third different group of tight ends, third different version of an offensive line, third variation of a receiving corps, and second coordinator since 2020, but the offensive attack hasn’t changed a bit.
Charles Davis, the analyst who worked Sunday’s game for CBS alongside play-by-play man Ian Eagle, talked about how the Steelers didn’t necessarily have to just sit back and take what New England was giving them on defense.
Guess what? The defense never wants to give you touchdowns or chunk plays.
In other words, you as an offense have to be more aggressive and attack the defense with what you feel is your strength. Clearly, the dink and dunk approach, the habit of mostly ignoring the middle of the field, is not the strength of the Steelers’ offense.
To tell you the truth, it’s been so long since this Steelers offense was effective, I can’t even begin to form an opinion on what I think its strength actually is.
I have no clue what it does well or who the true stars can be.
Obviously, Diontae Johnson is a polished receiver, one who is good enough to earn $18 million a year. But have the Steelers been able to maximize his abilities during his four seasons in town?
We saw a ton of great things from receiver Chase Claypool during his rookie season in 2020; did he just suddenly forget how to be a dynamic weapon since then?
We assume that Pat Freiermuth is headed for super-stardom as one of the game’s next great tight ends, but will this Steelers offense ruin him before he gets that chance?
Speaking of which, receiver George Pickens looked like a sure-fire bet to contend for the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award when he was dazzling everyone during training camp and the preseason; after being so under-utilized over his first two games, however, I fear Pickens might morph into Tom Brady and smash every iPad he can get his hands on since he can’t seem to get them on any passes.
As for quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the criticism he’s drawn already? Can you blame the fans for that? They’ve sat and watched the same ineffective offense for going on two full seasons of football. Why wouldn’t they be restless? Why wouldn’t they begin to chant for Kenny Pickett to replace Trubisky and his 5.1 yards per pass attempt?
As for offensive coordinator Matt Canada and the calls for him to be fired after two weeks? Can you blame the fans for that? They’ve witnessed from Canada what they witnessed from Randy Fichtner.
You can’t continue to feed people bad food and not expect them to have heartburn.
Think about all the arguments the fans and the media got into over the offseason. We had endless debates over the potential starting quarterbacks and even the backups. Folks got into social media hot water because of ugly discussions over who the third-string running back should be, for crying out loud.
Fans spent way too much time worrying about who the swing tackle should be and whether or not Cody White would make the team.
All of the social media arguments about this offense all throughout the offseason—for example, “Should they draft a quarterback in the first round, or should they go with a left tackle?”—all the emotional energy people spent talking about football that didn’t involve actual games, and this is the offense you give the faithful to start the 2022 regular season?
A new offense that looks identical to the old offense?
People keep referring to this offense as a work in progress. Is it really, or is it a work in futility?
I know what my answer is.
Finally, head coach Mike Tomlin and Co. have spent so many premium draft picks on skill-position players in recent years, beginning with Johnson in 2019 and ending with Pickett and Pickens in 2022. The fans have spent many days and nights actually lauding these guys and defending their abilities when comparing them to the stables trotted out every week by teams like the Chiefs, Bills, Bengals, etc. Yet, somehow, Pittsburgh is asking these guys to be a part of an outfit that is supposed to just play conservatively and not make mistakes.
To quote social media: Make it make sense.