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The Pittsburgh Steelers have finally begun to find their offensive identity. For all the offseason talk of a supposedly weak offensive line, an aging quarterback and rookies at skill positions, things are starting to click in ways not even Steelers’ superfans could have imagined.
And it’s all starting with that so-called weak line.
With the exception of a handful of mistakes by young guys still finding their way, this offensive line has been the source of the Steelers’ offensive success. They struggled early and struggled often, but as we approach the halfway point of the season they’re finding their form and playing to their potential. Their mistakes are becoming fewer, their successes are more regular. In turn, the Steelers have returned to their run-first approach, opening up things in the air for their 39-year-old quarterback.
There’s still plenty of room for improvement, but it’s worth celebrating when they do things they wouldn’t have even come close to sniffing through the first few games. Like this progression:
This OL completely kicked ass on Sunday in the running game. What a rep. pic.twitter.com/qRMiRsaIw9
— Nick Farabaugh (@Nick_Farabaugh) November 2, 2021
They moved as a unit. They didn’t back down. They created holes for Najee to exploit. He did just that.
Harris had 26 carries for 91 yards and a rushing touchdown. That would not have happened if the line hadn’t set up Harris, even if the rookie has been a behemoth of a back in his rookie year.
And that’s all before taking into account the contributions from Diontae Johnson:
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) November 2, 2021
Even more notably, tight end Pat Freiermuth was a beast:
PAT FREIERMUTH ON FOURTH DOWN FOR THE LEAD 🤯🤯🤯pic.twitter.com/cVQwqAWpfJ
— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) October 31, 2021
There will continue to be growing pains for this offense. But they are certainly trending in the right direction at the right time. And if they can keep heating up despite the winter weather, they may still have some playoff-push left in them.