Ben Roethlisberger’s injury inaugurated an unbelievable era of ineptitude for this offense. In the last two games, the Pittsburgh offense has gone from being a winning unit to the reason for two consecutive losses.
The Steelers had gone 46 games without losing consecutive contests.
Part of the problem lies with Todd Haley’s play-calling. It has been terrible. Against the Kansas City Chiefs just after Roethlisberger’s exit, he went with an ultra-conservative running offense that hardly ever passed the football. The Steelers barely squeaked by a team with only one victory.
The following week, Haley’s offense became schizophrenic with some deep pass attempts, a lot of running and no real identity or rhythm. The Steelers were stagnant at best and lost a close game.
In Cleveland, the Steelers seemed to be attempting to revert back to what they’d done with Roethlisberger. Haley called more short and medium passes, and mixed in the run and play action. The quarterback couldn’t get it done and turnovers doomed them. They lost a stunner.
It’s time for Haley to get creative. Regardless of quarterback, the Baltimore Ravens have a good handle on what Pittsburgh likes to do with the football. Give them something unexpected like a reverse with a pass by a receiver, and they will be caught completely off guard.
Or how about the long-lost flea flicker? Certainly one of the running backs is adept enough to toss the ball back to the quarterback and allow him to hit a wide-open Antonio Brown, Plaxico Burress or Emmanuel Sanders deep down the field.