Steelers can’t shake offensive ineffectiveness against Browns

Mitch Trubisky failed to hold Pittsburgh’s possessions in the second half, condemning his team to defeat.

The Pittsburgh Steelers they preached an aggressive strategy for the offense after two weeks of disappointing performances. For half a game, they complied.

But a miserable second half from an offense that couldn’t sustain drives coupled with a defense that couldn’t put pressure on the quarterback or slow down the team’s running game cleveland browns buried the Steelers (1-2) in a loss by .

A worrying trend

For the second week in a row, the Steelers struggled to effectively pressure the quarterback, in the absence of TJ Watt. Larry Ogunjobi Y alex highsmith they combined for a sack early in the game, but it was the only one until late in the fourth quarter. With the pressure on the quarterback suffering, Jacoby Brissette he was rushed on only three of his 23 dropbacks in the first half. And, toward the end, the Steelers’ secondary suffered a series of inattentions and miscommunications that led to big plays and touchdowns. Terrell Edmunds was in the wrong position on the Browns’ first touchdown, an 11-yard pass from Brissett to Amari Cooper, giving the wide receiver too much room. Cooper roasted the secondary, racking up 101 yards on seven receptions. Ineffective pass rush also contributed to the Browns’ ability to run the ball freely, and Nick Chub (23 carries, 113 yards) and Kareem Hunt (12 carries, 47 yards) tore apart the Steelers’ defense.

The biggest hole in the game plan

For all the offensive adjustments that were made — at least in the first half — the Steelers still haven’t attacked midfield. the tight end Pat Freiermuth he wasn’t wanted until midway through fourth period. That pass flew high, and the quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw him into triple coverage. Freiermuth’s first catch came with 2:56 left in the fourth quarter, an impressive 26-yard receiving catch. He followed it up with another on the next play, up the middle, to go 15 yards. But trailing by two runs, it was too late for those passes to have much of an impact on the outcome.

The quarterback analysis

Trubisky did what he said needed to be done in the days leading up to the first game of the year against the Browns: He was more aggressive and looked for George Pickens, at least in the first half. Trubisky put the ball in the air more often in the first half, connecting with Pickens for a 36-yard completion — courtesy of the rookie wide receiver’s impressive one-handed catch — for the Steelers’ longest passing play so far in the campaign. Trubisky also showed off his mobility as he escaped pressure, completing 7 of 8 passes from out of the pocket for 108 yards in the first half, the most by any Steelers out-of-the-pocket quarterback since 2015. But, Trubisky and the offense they reverted to their anemic form in the second half. After completing 9 of 13 passes for 109 yards in the first half, Trubisky was 6 of 12 for 41 yards until the final possession of the fourth quarter, when he searched the center of the field and moved the ball into field goal range.

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