The Steelers offense was cooking in the preseason, but the first week of the regular season did not go nearly as well.
The first five possessions against the 49ers ended with four punts and an interception, which helped the Niners get out to a 20-0 lead before the Steelers got on the scoreboard. Quarterback Kenny Pickett would throw another interception later in the game and the Steelers would finish the 30-7 loss with 239 yards of offense.
Reactions to the game were uniformly negative and many pointed the finger at offensive coordinator Matt Canada. On Wednesday, though, Pickett said the issue was with the execution rather than the planning and put himself front and center in that regard.
“I wouldn’t say it was too much [a need for] adjusting; we just didn’t play well,” Pickett said, via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We didn’t execute it near what we need to be. So, you know, keep the preparation the same. I thought the preparation for the week was good. Just about going out there, playing well and executing. . . . I was good with my decisions. It was just throwing and the execution."
The Steelers will get a chance to bounce back against the Browns on Monday night and Cleveland's defensive play in their 24-3 win over the Bengals suggests that won't be an easy task. If they should flounder again, it will be harder for anyone associated with the unit to avoid blame.