The Pittsburgh Steelers offense has been struggling for the better part of two and a half seasons now. Twenty three games of which Matt Canada has been in charge of this underperforming unit. During that time the team has changed quarterbacks, invested heavily in skill players during the draft, and patched up a leaky offensive line. And yet here we are again six games into the season near the bottom in all offensive categories. The next logical step is for the Steelers to move on from Matt Canada. The question is no longer if, but when this should take place. We go into this in great detail in episode 35 of our Steelers Sanctuary Podcast: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1981237/11503305
The stats speak for themselves at this point. Under Canada’s direction, Pittsburgh’s offense averaged a hair over 20 points per game in 2021. This season that number is down to 16.2, good for 30th in the league. In 23 games under Matt Canada the Pittsburgh Steelers have averaged 19.1 points per game. The team has scored 30 points only once since Canada took over as offensive coordinator. That is an abysmal performance considering where offensive football is in 2022.
The team’s rushing attack has been particularly poor under Canada. This, despite spending significant money in free agency on the offensive line this off-season. The Steelers have not had a 100 yard rusher thus far in 2022. The last time they accomplished this feat was in week 17 of 2021 where Najee Harris had 188 yards versus the Browns. This performance has to be considered an outlier considering no Steelers running back has been anywhere near this before, or after. This offense ranked 30th in average yards per game on the ground in 2021. They rank slightly higher in 2022 at 28th, but the average yards are down from 91.1 to 86.7.
The passing offense has been slightly better in the Canada era, but it is regressing. Pittsburgh was middle of the pack in passing yards last season at 221 yards per game. That was good for 15th overall in the NFL. After six games this season, the team is down to 25th, at 205 yards per game. Some of this can be explained by the drop off from Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement. Having said that, Roethlisberger was well past his prime in 2021 so how far is the drop off really?
Most head coaches in the NFL would not survive an offensive output the Steelers have put forward over a twenty three game stretch, never mind the offensive coordinator. Canada’s simplistic offensive approach, repetitive play calling, and overall college style offense does not work in the NFL. How much more evidence do the Steelers need at this point?
Barring a dramatic breakout by this offense in the second half of the season, it’s a forgone conclusion that Matt Canada will be replaced by 2023. That’s too long in our opinion. Mike Tomlin should make the move no later than the bye week. Give quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan an eight game audition before making a permanent choice after the season is over.
We wrote an article a few weeks ago wondering who was to blame for the Steelers struggles on offense, we now have our answer. Who’s to blame for the struggling Steelers offense? The time to move on from Matt Canada has come, the sooner the Steelers realize it the better.