Kenny Pickett and his teammates wasted favorable starting field positions and struggled to even stay on the field. Were they outplayed? Outcoached? Both?
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt has a theory of his own and as much as we hate to admit it, it’s along the lines of what Steelers fans have been thinking all season long.
“We knew what they were going to do,” said Pratt postgame via Blitzburgh. “They like to do the same plays over and over.”
Pratt had two tackles for loss against the Steelers on Sunday.
To be fair to Canada, execution definitely played a major role in how things played out in the second half. At one point in the second half, Pickett couldn’t even hit a routine check-down to Najee Harris.
But the Steelers’ struggles in the second half are partially explained by Pratt’s theory. You can’t stay predictable for four quarters of football. Let alone against a divisional foe. Not to mention how bad Pittsburgh was in early downs which kept the offense in third-and-long situations all day long.
Kenny Pickett in the 1st half: 14/19, 141 yards 1 TD— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) November 21, 2022
Kenny Pickett in the 2nd half: 5/16, 47 yards 0 TDs
Now granted, it’s tough to exclusively put this loss on an offense that produced 30 points. The Steelers looked outclassed on defense, too. But let’s be real, both things can be true.
While the number 30 looks pretty on the box score, the offense didn’t get there until the last moment of the game when they were already down by 14 and needed to recover an onside kick AND score another touchdown to tie it.
When it mattered, they went scoreless in the second half. That shouldn’t be ignored just because they got to 30. In a rebuilding year, the coaching staff has to give their players some sort of schematic advantage to win ballgames.
That hasn’t happened all season for the Steelers. Pratt is right on this one.
Featured image via Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports