The Pittsburgh Steelers are definitely a rebuilding squad.
During the Steelers’ 35-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8, Philadelphia actually pulled its starters early in the fourth quarter. While holding a a 22-point lead, the Eagles decided to pull their starters and inserted backup quarterback Gardner Minshew in for Jalen Hurts. It was the ultimate sign that Philadelphia didn’t feel like Pittsburgh was of any threat, despite nearly a full quarter left to play.
Charlie Batch, who served as the Steelers’ backup quarterback for 11 seasons from 2002 until 2012, took to Twitter to address the Eagles’ “disrespect” of Pittsburgh.
“Total disrespect,” said Batch on Sunday, October 30. “Philly has pulled all of their starters with 9 minutes left in the game. Times have definitely changed around here.”
Steelers Struggling on Both Sides of Ball
The Steelers are currently 2-6 and have little shot at making it to the postseason. Under head coach Mike Tomlin — who took over in 2007 — Pittsburgh has never had a losing record. In fact, the Steelers haven’t suffered a losing record since the 2003 season when Ben Roethlisberger was the quarterback.
However, this season is clearly different. In their first season without Roethlisberger and with Kenny Pickett as the starting quarterback, Pittsburgh is struggling. The offensive unit is dead last with 15.0 points per game. Meanwhile, the defensive unit is struggling in the absence of outside linebacker T.J. Watt, ranking 24th in the league by allowing 24.6 points per game.
The Steelers were clearly outmatched by an undefeated Eagles squad during their loss. Not only did Philadelphia outgain Pittsburgh 401-to-300 in total yardage, they also went 7-for-12 on third downs while the Steelers went a dreadful 1-for-12 on third down conversions.
Considering all of Pittsburgh’s main weapons on offense — with the exception of the 26-year-old Diontae Johnson — is 24 years of age or younger, it’s hard to envision the Steelers being competitive against the better teams of the league.
Following the team’s loss to Philadelphia — their sixth loss in their past seven games — Tomlin stresses that the team is still trying to improve.
“Hey, we’re 2-6, guys,” said Tomlin. “I’m not going to answer that question every week. I’m open to doing whatever is required for us to get better, and that’s just how it is, man. We’re seriously committed to winning and being better and that’s just a component of it.”
Despite showing little sign of improvement since their season-opening win, the Steelers haven’t made any notable personnel changes. If that continues to be the case, Pittsburgh can expect the same results moving forward.
Roethlisberger Suggests Steelers Throw More Deep Passes
Roethlisberger believes one way the Steelers should change how they do things is by throwing more deep passes.
Pittsburgh ranks dead last in the league in yards per attempt (6.0). The two-time Super Bowl champion suggests that they air it out more.
“You have nothing to lose,” said Roethlisberger on his podcast. “I’m literally saying I’m throwing the ball deep on first, second and third down. I’m not throwing the five-yard pass. I’m not throwing the three-yard pass. Right now, and it doesn’t have to be a deep seven-step drop — like I know you worry about protection — you can catch it and throw a ball 10-to-12 yards downfield and they can do more with it.