Red Zone Woes Continue – The Steelers went 1 for 4 in the Red Zone against the Lions on Sunday as the efficiency down there continues to be downright dreadful. The worst moment(s) came when the Steelers had a first and goal at the 1 yard line. They went three and out and settled for a field goal. Again, the play calling was not very good in the red zone. Again, what worked for the Steelers to get them into the red zone ceased and the plays became vanilla. The execution is sloppy. This is probably the worst part about the Steelers offense this season. Forget the sacks, forget the dumb play calling during the majority of the games, forget the turnovers. If the Steelers could even be halfway successful in the red zone, they would probably be .500 or better. Seriously.
No Huddle vs. Haley Huddles – The Steelers were incredibly efficient when running the no huddle offense. They even started using it right off the bat in the first half. It set a great tone from the start, and by the end of the 1st quarter, the Steelers were up 14-0. The times that the Steelers were in the no huddle versus the times that the Steelers huddled up were so different in the pace, efficiency, tone, and results that if you were to only tune in at each snap of the ball you could tell which drives were no huddle and which were huddled. It’s clear that Haley gets in the way of himself by trying to get too tricky and outsmart the opponent. Every game needs a few ‘gadget plays’, bubble screens on 3rd down, and 2nd and long or 3rd and long draw plays up the middle when Haley holds the script. Did you notice at least how they ditched the Wildcat? Did you all also notice that moment when the camera was on Ben as he was getting a call from the sidelines, checked the wrist band, looked back, and rolled his head and eyes in a ‘are you serious’ look? I almost spit out my Yuengling. No doubt there that Big Ben is becoming frustrated with the play calling at that moment. Maybe not is all well between Haley and Ben…. duh. Look, until Haley can get over himself and call plays that work well for this offense instead of pigeon holing the whole damn thing, then the Steelers will always have very limited success.
Honorable mention – The Steelers running game against one of the worst run defenses