For the first time this season, the Pittsburgh Steelers scored 30 points in a game. Unfortunately, that wasn’t quite enough to bring down Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals to sweep them for the 2022 season.
For a moment in the first half, there was no stopping Kenny Pickett’s unit. In four consecutive drives, they put points on the board, including two touchdowns to get to halftime with a three-point lead.
In those first two quarters, Kenny Pickett completed 74% of his passes as the Steelers offense converted 5-of-7 third down attempts. Wide receiver George Pickens had 50 receiving yards and the offense averaged over 5 yards per rush attempt.
Matt Canada’s unit was on fire.
Then came the second half and everything went crashing down. Perhaps it was execution or maybe it was a stubborn approach to early downs that set up Pittsburgh to many third-and-long situations.
It was so bad that if you take away the final drive of the game (in which the Steelers cut down the deficit to seven with less than one minute left in the clock), the offense averaged 1.9 yards per play.
I will type it again because you might’ve missed it. 1.9 yards per play. Yikes.
up until the Steelers final possession, they had 52 total yards of offense on 27 plays in seven second half possessions. #Steelers— Steelers Depot 7⃣🎄🎅 (@Steelersdepot) November 21, 2022
After halftime, the first three offensive drives for the Steelers were all three-and-outs. Three other drives went for four plays only. The exception (excluding the final drive) was a six-play drive.
That includes two drives that started in the Bengals’ 21-yard line in which Pittsburgh settled for a field goal and another that started in their own 47-yard line.
I still can't get over that abysmal Steelers possession in the fourth quarter when they got the ball at the Bengals' 47-yard line. The Bengals responded with a 8-play, 93-yard touchdown drive to pretty much put the game away. #Steelers #NFL— Blitzburgh (@Blitz_Burgh) November 21, 2022
“We just couldn’t get in a rhythm,” said Pittsburgh wide receiver Diontae Johnson postgame. “When we have those field position opportunities, we didn’t capitalize. What happens when you don’t capitalize? Stuff won’t fall in your favor.”
That’s a good way to put it. Eleven weeks into the season, stuff hasn’t fallen in the Steelers’ favor. After losing what felt like their Super Bowl, it’s back to the drawing board for the struggling offense.
Featured image via Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK