Steelers Surge: Offensive Revival and Coaching Changes Propel Victory Over Bengals

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Steelers Surge Offensive Revival and Coaching Changes Propel Victory Over Bengals
Steelers Surge Offensive Revival and Coaching Changes Propel Victory Over Bengals (Credits: Getty Images)

With 5:17 left in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ recent game, the team experienced a significant shift following the departure of offensive coordinator Matt Canada. In a pivotal moment, running back Najee Harris received a handoff from quarterback Kenny Pickett and executed a 13-yard run, propelling the Steelers beyond the 400-yard mark.

This achievement marked a breaking point, as the team hadn’t surpassed this threshold in 58 regular-season games. The Steelers not only snapped that streak but also outgained their opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals, with a total of 424 yards compared to the Bengals’ 222, securing a 16-10 victory on Sunday.

Reflecting on the performance, Pickett expressed confidence in the team’s capabilities, stating, “We know we’re capable of putting that kind of offense out there every week. We just weren’t able to do it in these previous weeks, but it was awesome. It feels good to come together like that and put out a great game.” The 424 yards marked the highest offensive output for the Steelers since their 429-yard performance against the New Orleans Saints in Week 16 of the 2018 season.

Steelers Surge: Offensive Revival and Coaching Changes Propel Victory Over Bengals
Steelers Surge: Offensive Revival and Coaching Changes Propel Victory Over Bengals (Credits: Sports Illustrated)

The offensive revival was particularly gratifying for a team that entered the crucial AFC North matchup ranked 28th in yards per game. Center Mason Cole acknowledged the collective responsibility the players felt for Canada’s dismissal, emphasizing the need to make things right for those still on the team.

Following Canada’s departure, running back coach Eddie Faulkner assumed day-to-day offensive coordinator duties, while quarterback coach Mike Sullivan took charge of play-calling on Sunday. Pickett acknowledged the adjustment period to Sullivan’s play calls but highlighted the team’s productivity and effective ball movement during each drive.

Wide receiver Diontae Johnson noted a tangible difference in the offense’s feel with the new coaching structure, emphasizing improved energy and cohesion. While some players acknowledged subtle differences, Cole emphasized that there weren’t drastic changes in the offensive approach.

Despite the win, Coach Mike Tomlin cautioned against assuming that all offensive challenges were resolved, citing the team’s low-scoring average leading up to the game. Pickett showcased improvement in his performance, completing 24 of 33 attempts for 278 yards.

The game also saw a notable contribution from tight ends, with Pickett completing 12 of 14 passes for 141 yards to the position group. Tight end Pat Freiermuth set a career-high with 120 receiving yards, the most by a Steelers tight end since 2018.

In summary, the Steelers’ victory showcased a rejuvenated offense under the new coaching structure, breaking a longstanding yardage record and providing a positive outlook for the team’s future performances.

Richard

By Richard

All in one crazy for sports, especially baseball.

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