Las Vegas Raiders, Tyree Wilson

Breaking Down Steelers Offense: The Good, Bad, And Ugly

Watching football on Christmas Eve is the ideal way to spend the evening. You’re in luck since the Pittsburgh Steelers and Las Vegas Raiders battle hours before Santa delivers the presents. Both teams will be emotionally invested in this crucial game. For both of their postseason hopes, it’s now or never. But let’s focus on the Steelers’ offense.  Their offense has had a difficult time since Ben Roethlisberger left the team. Even in Roethlisberger’s final few seasons, the Steelers offense was bad. Here is a breakdown of the Steelers’ offense: good, bad, and ugly.

Steelers Offense: The Good, The weapons 

On paper, the Steelers’ offense should be good. Their top weapons are Najee Harris, George Pickens, Diontae Johnson, and Pat Freiermuth. To the credit of these four, they are all having respectable seasons. Harris has over 900 scrimmage yards, and each of Pickens, Johnson, and Freiermuth has over 600 receiving yards. So what is holding them back? Well, Johnson and Harris have regressed from last year, but you can’t blame them much. They have had inconsistent quarterback and offensive line play all year.

The Raiders cannot afford to overlook them despite their ups and downs. They have the ideal opportunity to turn the tide in a cold-weather game when they are considerably more at ease than the Raiders. The offensive core group of four is excellent, but their circumstances aren’t ideal. All four of these guys can go off, given how terrible the Raiders’ defense has been overall. Let’s now discuss the quarterback, who is a key factor in why they haven’t been very successful.

Steelers Offense: The Bad, The Steelers QB Situation 

Roethlisberger retired just earlier this year, and the Steelers still haven’t found a replacement. The Steelers average 201.8 passing yards per game, which places them 24th in the league, per TeamRankings. In the 2022 NFL Draft, they selected Kenny Pickett and put him up against players like Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph. For the Steelers, Pickett and Trubisky have both started games, and both have performed poorly. Trubisky has a touchdown-to-turnover ratio of 6-5, while Pickett’s is 7-9, not at all good. But it appears that Pickett will start against the Raiders, so let’s focus on him.

Pickett will be given some leeway because this is his first season in the league, but he hasn’t grown much. He has displayed excellent pocket poise and accuracy. He does, however, have a tendency to make lots of turnovers, which helps the Raiders. It’s conceivable that some turnovers will happen if you make him nervous in the pocket. This is the week for Patrick Graham to draw up some blitzes and confuse the rookie.

Steelers Offense: The Ugly, Scoring And Yards Are Hard To Come By

Being able to move the ball and score points is the foundation of offense. The Steelers have struggled with both of these things; therefore, it is only natural that their offense hasn’t been great. According to TeamRankings, the Steelers rank 26th in terms of yards per game and 27th in terms of points per game. The weapons I mentioned before make this simply unacceptable. When you think about it, the blame should be focused on the coaching and scheme. Therefore, I do indeed have Matt Canada in mind. Although you have the weapons, you cannot manage to unleash them. Yes, your offensive line is not the best in the league, but it isn’t the worst either. There must be a compromise, and it appears that Canada is to blame.

Both those things are going to be hard to come by in a game where the temperature is below freezing. The Raiders must take advantage of this and prevent the Steelers’ mediocre offense from feeling comfortable. All we want for Christmas is for you not to make this horrific offense look good.

*Top Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

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