A whirlwind of scrutiny blanketed the Pittsburgh Steelers and their offense for the first few weeks of the 2023 NFL season. A recent string of strong performances has quarterback Kenny Pickett convicted that they are on the precipice of putting it all together and rounding into playoff form.
Dale Lolly of Steelers.com shared Pickett’s comments on where he feels the offense is at this stage of the year. The 25-year-old QB is liking about the way the run game stepped up in their most recent 20-16 win over the Tennessee Titans, saying:
“I thought the balance was there. You know, (Najee Harris) and (Jaylen Warren) ran the ball great. The line was firing off the ball. They’re protected really well. I stayed clean the majority of the game. So, that’s kind of what we’re trying to get to here.”
Balance Is Key for Steelers’ Offense to Grow
A common theme from Pickett’s comments to the media all season long has been wanting to put together all of their positives on the field into a finished product for one game. Pickett has now received help from all of his weapons in different games. It seems that they’re now capable of doing it all at once.
First, it was the Steelers’ secondary that helped get them off to a strong start. Then, once the Matt Canada blowback subsided, so did the cap on the passing game. As a result, WRs George Pickens and Diontae Johnson found their groove and spearheaded wins against the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Rams, combining for 186 REC yards in the latter.
The run game has reached a level of performance that has been expected of them from Week 1. However, now the ebbs and flows of the season have led to a brief dry spell from Pickens on the outside.
Assuming Pickens rebounds quickly from his cold stretch — which his body of work suggests — Pickett will have all four of his top offensive weapons ready to go against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
Pickett, Steelers Have the Potential to Amass 400 Yards on Sunday
Pickett wants the “burst” they saw against Tennessee maintained for four quarters. Achieving that will give them a great chance to go for 400 total yards of offense against the Packers. They have not done so in 56 games, marking the longest active stretch by any NFL team.
The Steelers need the ball in their hands more. They only average 27 minutes in time of possession per game. The Steelers also need to get it together and refrain from racking up penalties. They’ve averaged 8.0 penalties in the last 3 weeks.
Getting opposing offenses off the field and limiting the interruption in offensive flow and gaining yardage is paramount to achieving that burst that Pickett wants to prolong.