The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense has been missing in action for most of the 2017 regular season, but they certainly found their ‘mojo’ in the second half of their Week-11 game against the Tennessee Titans, as they racked up 40 points.
The Thursday night game was the first time this season when Pittsburgh scored more than 30 points in a game and, although the fan base rejoiced at the outburst vs. Tennessee, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin isn’t drinking the offense’s Kool-aid but, rather, believes the team still can be better and has plenty of work to do.
Tomlin on Steelers offense after 40-point output: "I think they're capable of even more"— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) November 21, 2017
Some might scoff at Tomlin’s notion, but the head coach is 100-percent correct in his estimation.
You can look at all the statistics in the world throughout this regular season and find a correlation between the offense’s third-down completion percentage, or the red-zone failures as examples of what they can improve on. But the first half of the game in Week 11 is the perfect, visual example of how, even after putting up 40 points, the team is still leaving a lot on the field.
Just think about this sequence of events:
- Steelers go no-huddle on opening drive, Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown touchdown pass. 7-0 Steelers
- Marcus Mariota intercepted by Mike Hilton. Steelers only convert the interception into 3-points. 10-0 Steelers
- Marcus Mariota intercepted by Coty Sensabaugh. Steelers only convert the interception into 3-points. 13-0 Steelers
The Steelers could, and most would say should, have put a huge dagger in the Titans early in the game, but instead let them hang around until the second half. Imagine what it would have looked like if the Steelers had just converted ONE of those interceptions into 7 points instead of only a Chris Boswell field goal.
17-0 is a huge difference compared to 13-0.
If you want to be a perfectionist—and who doesn’t when it comes to the Steelers—if the Steelers had put up two touchdowns off of those turnovers, suddenly the Titans are trying to make up a 21-0 deficit before reaching halftime.
Talk about a tall order.
The Steelers’ offense can still improve, and not just a little, but by leaps and bounds. Mike Tomlin knows this and, if his team can simply take advantage of their opportunities by means of touchdowns rather than field goals, they’ll be difficult to beat down the stretch and in the playoffs.