The Pittsburgh Steelers are 1-2 through three weeks of the 2022 regular season, and the fan base doesn’t need reminded of this simple fact. Something else they don’t need reminded of is the team’s inability to put up points.
When you look at offensive points scored, this wouldn’t count plays like Minkah Fitzpatrick’s pick-six in the Week 1 overtime win vs. the Cincinnati Bengals, here is how they have done thus far:
Week 1: 17 points
Week 2: 14 points
Week 3: 17 points
In an era where NFL teams are scoring points at a ridiculous clip, the Steelers have been stuck in the slow lane for the past several years. Take this simple statistic as an example: In their first three games the Philadelphia Eagles have scored 24 points...in the first half.
The Steelers have yet to even break the 24-point plateau in a full 4 quarter game, and including the defense putting points on the board.
With all of that said, you’d understand if fans don’t want to hear players say they are “close” to being a very good, complete offense. Nonetheless, that’s exactly what Mason Cole said on Monday as the team prepares for Week 4.
“I think we’re really close. I don’t think it’s as bad as a lot of people think it is,” Cole said. “It’s still not good enough, but it really comes down to 11 guys doing their job. That’s football. If one guy is not doing his job, it’s not going to look the way it’s meant to be.”
You have to love, and appreciate Cole’s optimism, and there will be plenty of skeptics who absolutely annihilate his comments. But, in Cole’s defense, he continued to talk about how the team still has work to do — no excuses.
“This league is tough. There are no excuses. We have to be better to win these games, these tight games, we’re going to have to be better and play a complete game,” Cole added. “So that’s what we’re striving to do, play a complete game on offense.”
To be completely fair, in the first half of the Week 3 loss to the Cleveland Browns, the Steelers offense looked great. They were moving the ball well, using tempo to keep the defense off balance and maximizing the strengths of their offensive line and their quarterback.
“I think our tempo helped us a little bit and kind of sticking to it in the first half kind of helped us,” Cole said of the running game. “We’ve just got to keep getting better there and moving forward there.”
Unfortunately, the second half vs. Cleveland didn’t have the same kind of positive outlook on it, as the team was only able to add three points to their total in the final half. Nonetheless, Kevin Dotson is using the ever-dangerous ‘P’ word when talking about the offense.
This is what he told Brooke Pryor of ESPN:
Kevin Dotson: "Potential is one of those things that, it's a good thing and it can drag you down. ... I feel like we just know how good we can be. And that's the thing that's frustrating us, that we are not clicking how we could be really -- that's about the only thing."— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) September 26, 2022
Will the Steelers, both offensively and defensively, live up to their potential? Will they ever be the team many know they are capable of being? Well, if there is one player who can help get the team mentally back on track, it’s captain Cam Heyward. Heyward knows what needs to be done, and it’s turning the page. Getting ready for the next opponent.
“Get ready for Wednesday. We have practice. Focus on the little things. Control what you can control,” Heyward said when asked what the team needs to do. “Do your job. Get ready to play football again.
“The weekend was nice to get a quick reset. We have work to do. It was nice to get a couple extra hours of rest. Hopefully it benefits us. Now we get back to the task at hand.”
The Steelers host the New York Jets at Acrisure Stadium Sunday for a 1pm ET kickoff, and it would be great to see them get their first home win of the season to even their record at 2-2. With the slate of games they have coming up, it could be viewed as a huge game for the home team. Lose this game, falling to 1-3, could be disastrous for the team’s psyche and overall development.
Let’s hope that latter scenario doesn’t play out.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Jets this Sunday in Week 4 action.