The Steelers actually did it
The Matt Canada era is over.
The Pittsburgh Steelers made the unprecedented — for them — decision to fire offensive coordinator Matt Canada on Tuesday, ending a miserable two-and-a-half year run of offense.
It is the first time since 1941 that the Steelers have fired a head coach or coordinator during the season.
The fact they were willing to make this move speaks volumes as to how poorly this whole situation was going.
During his 45-game tenure the Steelers offense never gained more than 400 yards in a single game, scored more than 30 points just twice, and was consistently among the worst performing offenses in the entire league both in terms of yards and points. It was a weekly chore to watch an offense that was about as creative and innovative as something you would see at your local high school on a Friday night.
Every week it seemed like opposing defenses knew exactly what the Steelers were going to do, and that is not me, deranged lunatic, saying that. It routinely came from the mouths of opponents after games. The Steelers players have mentioned it. It is a thing. The frustration after Sunday’s game from offensive players — specifically running back Najee Harris — was obvious.
That game, an ugly 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns, was apparently the tipping point after the offense reached a new low from a passing standpoint (totaling just 104 yards) and abandoned a running game in crucial situations that was actually working.
Even if you want to place blame for Sunday’s loss — and for the bulk of the team’s poor offensive performance — on quarterback Kenny Pickett (and you would be right to do so), the offensive game plan and play-calling on Sunday was still a fireable offense.
— Even though it was clear that the passing game was not working, the Steelers still for some reason ended the day with a 60-40 pass-run split on a day where they were averaging over six yards per carry. It was the third week in a row the running game was gaining real traction and impacting the game.
— Their most effective player, running back Jaylen Warren, touched the ball only 12 times and got fewer offensive snaps than Harris despite the fact he accounted for more than half of the Steelers’ yardage by himself.
— With three minutes to play in a tie game and having a first down at the Cleveland 40-yard line, maybe just three or four yards away from Chris Boswell field goal range, the Steelers attempted two passes over their next three plays and never gave Warren a touch.
— The following series, with less than two minutes to play in a tie game, saw them take 14 seconds off the clock as they threw three incomplete passes to Diontae Johnson.
It was a masterclass in incompetence and gave away what was not only a completely winnable game, but also a massive game in the AFC — and AFC North — playoff race.
None of this is to say that the Steelers offense is magically fixed.
It is not.
Not by a long shot.
There are still some very significant problems here.
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