Just when things couldn’t look any worse for the Pittsburgh Steelers, week 5 came around. They traveled up to Buffalo to face the Bills and left with a 38-3 nightmare loss.
Things didn’t start out well in the opening minutes of the game. While Pittsburgh pinned Buffalo deep in their own zone, they proceeded to give up a 98-yard touchdown on third down. This became the pattern all day, with the defense getting demolished by Josh Allen and company. The fourth-year QB ended up throwing for 424 yards and four touchdowns.
The Steelers’ offense didn’t fare much better, even with Kenny Pickett making his first start at QB. They failed to make even the simplest of plays and never made enough big ones to make a difference. Luckily, Pickett overall had a pretty good game and was certainly not the reason the team lost. He finished the day with 327 yards on 34 completions while starting to find a rhythm with fellow rookie wide receiver George Pickens. The University of Georgia alum pulled in six catches for 83 yards.
Unfortunately, the problems continued on the sidelines as well. Conservative was the word of the day for the coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Matt Canada has been under scrutiny all season for his play calling and didn’t do himself any favors on Sunday. When you’re down as much as the Steelers were, you cannot afford to keep going back to an abysmal run game to get the momentum going.
Head coach Mike Tomlin also made some questionable decisions, specifically in the second quarter. Down 24-3 and well into Buffalo’s zone, he opted to go for a field goal on a fourth-and-five. If that didn’t say, “I have no trust in my offense”, I don’t know what did. Karma seemed to agree, as Chris Boswell missed the easy 33-yard kick.
Overall, it was just a poor game from start to finish. The Steelers hadn’t lost that badly since 1989 when they fell 51-0 to the Cleveland Browns in the season opener. The only positive on Sunday was Pickett, who proved he wouldn’t crumble under pressure. He went up against the second-best scoring defense in the league and put up good numbers, while only throwing one pick.
Steelers Week 6 Preview
As if their luck couldn’t get any worse, the Steelers now have the hardest schedule remaining this season. It all starts next Sunday when they host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa rebounded last week with a 21-15 win over the Atlanta Falcons, thanks to an extremely controversial roughing-the-passer penalty.
Brady has been a thorn in the Steelers’ side for years, beating them 12 out of 15 times, including 3-0 in the playoffs. If Pittsburgh has any chance of beating him and Tampa, they better be on their A game. Unfortunately, if they play at all like they have the last three weeks, Steelers fans may witness another case of déjà vu at Acrisure Stadium.