It may not get as much attention in light of last night’s brawl at the end of the loss to the Browns, but the Steelers also have some other issues that continue to plague them.
While much of it was because of injuries before and during the game, their lack of offensive firepower was a concern after the 21-7 loss.
“It’s been the story of the whole season, us not being good enough on offense,” left tackle Al Villanueva said, via Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It’s frustrating, for sure. There’s no excuses that we can make. Obviously, the team needs the offense to pick it up.”
“This is probably as humbling as it can be,” veteran guard Ramon Foster added.
Much of the problem stems from the simple lack of bodies.
Running back James Conner, who missed the previous two games with a shoulder injury, left the game in the first quarter after aggravating it. Wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson were knocked out with concussions. That left Johnny Holton and Tevin Jones alongside James Washington at receiver, and I’ll give you a moment to Google those guys.
The Steelers have a bye week which should help, but the injuries underline pre-existing conditions on offense. Some of that is to be expected when you’re without your starting quarterback (and the backup is sacked four times and throws four picks), and the running game you rely on ranks 27th in the league.