For Pittsburgh Steelers fans, one of the biggest talking points of this young 2017 regular season has been on the offensive side of the ball. Everyone wants to know what’s going on with the group that was supposed to set the world ablaze with their ridiculously talented offensive roster.
A lot of variables have contributed to the Steelers’ offense not playing up to par throughout the first quarter of the season, but instead of focusing on the issues, maybe it is time to focus on a solution.
Believe it or not, the Steelers’ offense in Week 4 really started to click, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone this happened when the team focused on running the football. In fact, when you look at the stat lines from the game vs. the Ravens last week in Baltimore, it had a very retro feel to it, and maybe that’s the solution for the team’s offense moving forward.
With that said, what is it about the Steelers’ offense that should be retro? And what the heck does “retro” even mean when talking about an NFL offense? Simple. Go back to Ben Roethlisberger’s early days and duplicate that success.
When Roethlisberger was having his best years as a professional, in terms of winning Super Bowls, he always had a solid offensive line and a reliable running game. But during the years when the Steelers became a pass-happy team, the consistency of the group struggled simultaneously.
If the Steelers can get their running backs anywhere from 30-35 touches per game, and limit Roethlisberger’s attempts to around 25-30, this would be a great starting point for the offense. Some will disagree with this approach, pointing at players like Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant as a reason to throw more than the aforementioned average but, even in Roethlisberger’s younger days, he still threw the football, but that was all set up by the run.
In my opinion, the Steelers have the offensive line, the running back and the quarterback to make this style of offense one that can score on any team, in any venue. If you look back to the Ravens game, this was the perfect picture of what the Steelers’ offense should look like.
Roethlisberger’s Stat line: 18/30, 216 yards, 7.2 avg., 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 sack
If Roethlisberger connects with Bryant in the fourth quarter, his numbers would look even better than they did. To me, Roethlisberger doesn’t need to throw for 350+ yards anymore for the offense to be prolific. Instead, he needs to manage the game and make plays when they are presented to him.
Le’Veon Bell’s Stat line: 35 carries, 144 yards, 4.1 avg., 2 TD
This is the stat line fans should be excited to see. Bell ran the ball when everyone watching at home and in M&T Bank Stadium knew he was going to run it—yet they still were successful. Sticking to the run is key for Pittsburgh and using the run to set up the pass could lead to explosive plays down the field.
Ultimately, this offense shouldn’t be about statistics, but winning. Doing what’s necessary to win on any given Sunday. With this retro-style offense, there will be times when the offense will have to throw the ball more, but they should shy away from those 45+ attempts unless the game dictates it’s necessary. Going retro might just get the Steelers a retro result, like a Super Bowl trophy.
I dive into this theory, the statistics and just how the Steelers’ offense will look by going this route in the above podcast. Give the 13-minute show a listen...you won’t regret it!