Sunday’s performance offensively from the Pittsburgh Steelers left much to be desired coming out of a 23-20 win in overtime in which the Steelers’ defense sacked Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow seven times, forced five turnovers and had a touchdown defensively.
Putting up just 17 total points offensively with five turnovers is ugly to look at, especially with the lack of a run game overall from the black and gold. Count head coach Mike Tomlin as an optimist though as the veteran head coach stated to reporters Tuesday during his weekly Tomlin Tuesday media session that he was “encouraged” by the performance offensively with the new-look group under second-year coordinator Matt Canada.
“From a coach’s lens, taking the emotion out, I was encouraged by some of the things I saw from my offensive unit as well,” Tomlin said to reporters, according to video via the Steelers’ official YouTube page. “It’s no secret that we’re…transitioning and gaining cohesion in that group, whether, again, as young players or players that are new to us, I thought we did some good things.
“We were less penalized. We did good things. We took care of the football,” Tomlin added. “We positioned ourselves to make the necessary plays in the weighty moments, the significant guys delivered in those moments. …It’s just a lot of encouraging things. Sure, we are far from perfect in all three phases. There’s work to do, and we’re excited about addressing that as we move forward.”
There certainly is work to do, especially up front with the run game as the Steelers’ new-look offensive line struggled to generate any sort of push in the trenches throughout Sunday’s matchup, rendering the Steelers’ offense relatively one-dimensional. Without a run game to lean on, new starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky had to do much of the heavy lifting for the Steelers, attempting 38 passes in the win.
He made some plays late in the game in weightier moments that helped lead the Steelers to a win in overtime on the road, including the throw to Diontae Johnson in overtime, as well as Pat Freiermuth.
The offensive line looked decent overall in pass protection, keeping Trubisky relatively clean, which drew praise from Tomlin as well, but without a run game the Steelers are going to continue to struggle offensively.
There were some encouraging signs, but not enough. They’ll have to get better in a hurry ahead of the Week 2 matchup against the New England Patriots at Acrisure Stadium in the Steelers’ home opener.