2 Copy 2

Steelers’ Offense Totals Over 400 Yards in Victory Over Bengals

Sometimes the best addition is subtraction. For the first time in 59 games, the Steelers put up a 400-yard offensive team performance. An achievement never reached in the Matt Canada era. It only amounted to a 16 point effort, but the Steelers will accept any type of winning in an AFC North matchup. 

With Matt Canada fired on Tuesday, a significant transformation took place in the offensive strategy of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and fans finally witnessed some results. 

The change in the Steelers’ offensive strategy was almost inevitable under the new interim coordinator, Eddie Faulkner, along with play-caller Mike Sullivan.

This duo of coordinators put together a game plan that resulted in a Steelers’ performance exceeding 400 total yards for the first time since the second week of the 2020 season. It was also the first game this season where they out gained their opponent.

This notable change in offensive strategy, plus plays made by the defense, pushed the Steelers’ record to 7-4, while further diminishing the Bengals’ standing in the AFC North to 5-6.

Stellar Performances: Pickett, Harris, and Freiermuth

Kenny Pickett demonstrated excellent form, registering a season-high 278 passing yards. Although he didn’t register a passing touchdown, Pickett confidently threw the ball when he had time and converted an impressive eight third downs, a season-best record. 

His primary target during the game was Tight End Pat Freiermuth, who was making his second start since coming off IR. He finished the game with a season-high nine receptions for 120 yards.

Najee Harris also rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown during the third quarter. This 5-yard run pushed the Steelers into a lead that they maintained till the very end of the game. 

While the Steelers’ offense was in full swing, their defense was equally commendable. The Bengals’ offense, now helmed by Jake Browning due to the season-ending wrist injury of Joe Burrow, struggled to make headway against a resilient Steelers’ defense. They managed to put together a scoring drive and provided the Bengals a 7-3 lead, but the Steelers managed to chip away at it in the second half. 

The Bengals could only manage 25 yards rushing. The Steelers’ defense, with T.J. Watt finishing with two of the team’s four sacks and safety Trenton Thompson intercepting a pass, left the Bengals struggling for points.

This interception paved the way for a 14-play, 79-yard touchdown drive, culminating in Harris’ 5-yard run. This drive not only put the Steelers back in the lead but also showcased some impressive third-down completions to Freiermuth. It was their most matured and methodical drive of the season. Something that did not seem possible with Matt Canada. 

The next time the Steelers had the ball, Diontae Johnson had a 12-yard catch on third down, and Pickett found George Pickens for 43 yards, converting another third down. However, the Steelers had to settle for Chris Boswell‘s 34-yard field goal with 8:03 left. Extending the lead to 16-7. Just out of reach for any team starting a backup quarterback. 

The Bengals tried to make a last-ditch effort to close the gap with Evan McPherson‘s 47-yard field goal with 2:04 to play. However, the Steelers recovered the onside kick, and, with the Bengals out of timeouts, they ran out the clock.

The Steelers’ victory, marked by a significant offensive transformation, certainly makes their upcoming games a must-watch. The team’s ability to maintain this momentum as they face a very favorable schedule will be key for their playoff push. 

A New Dawn for the Steelers

The Steelers’ performance against the Bengals could signal a new dawn for the team. Their offense showing signs of being rejuvenated under the new leadership can provide hope for the locker room and fans. 

However, one performance won’t remove the skeptics. The points didn’t follow the better overall offensive play. Finishing drives will be a message moving forward.

The next three games will be crucial in determining the effectiveness of this revamped offensive strategy. If they can sustain this momentum and learn how to deliver higher-scoring performances, maybe they can get some Minkah Fitzpatrick back and both units can improve in unison. 


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *