For me, it's staying healthy and limiting injuries especially the O-line/ scoring points. If we look back one of the issues we had was scoring points, we only hit 30 or more one time, 5 losses @ 3 points was a killer for us not making the post season.
It all starts up front, our O-line played well in spurts but never had the continuity, as so many players were injured in the course of the season. When you have good blocking the other parts of the offense fall into place especially running the ball, something we didn't do well in.
Ben didn't play well down the stretch, we had the fumbles in Cleveland, dropped passes in some games, special team blunders, and lack of a pass rush at times. Even with those issues winning two of those 5 losses and we would be playing Sunday, thats why I contend the offense was our thorn in the side.
Early in the season we had some defensive breakdowns, but they were corrected and they started to play well, but the offense took its turn to breakdown, we never had both units on the same page outside of the 4 game win streak.
Not to compare us with New Englands offense but we only averaged 21 points a game, while they averaged almost 35. If this offense could of musterd up an average of 24 points a game we would of had a different outcome this season.
Yeah, we had issues at times on defense but they still managed to be one of the tops in the league. It all comes back on the offense and its been a trend for sometime now, the inability to score points when you have to.
Sorry, but 21 points a game average isn't doing it. The Steelers need to take a long look at correcting this problem we've had not only this year but years past. I thought we had the talent in skilled positions, receivers, TE, QB, and even running back, it all goes back to having a great line, one that can stay healthy. I'm not going to blame Haley, this offense was doing well in other departments earlier in the season. Ben was having his best year, we were a leader in third down conversions, and was dominating time of possesion. The only issue even then was scoring points.
We had the same issue in B.A.'s offense....scoring points. Yeah, we were productive from the 20 to the 20 but too often had to settle for 3 instead of 7"s.
Message to the Steelers:
Find a way to get that paltry average of 21 points a game to 24 and we may see a big difference in the outcome of the 2013 season.
Obviously you need all 3 units clicking to have success not just the offense, but when you can score points even when the other units are having issues you can still win ball games.....See New England!