Steelers WR Diontae Johnson expects more deep balls this week

Despite all the weapons the Pittsburgh Steelers have on offense, the Steelers offense is still among the very worst in the league in multiple categories. The fix for many seems to center around more go routes and pushing the football downfield more. But is this true?

This is something wide receiver Diontae Johnson hinted at this week when he spoke to the media.

“I believe that we’re going to go down the field more this week, and hopefully the rest of the season because we got the guys that can make the plays down the field,” Johnson said. “We just got to throw it up and give us a chance.”

The interesting part of this debate is the numbers don’t really matchup up with the criticisms. For example, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady leads the NFL with 2,138 air yards. This includes total yards intended and includes both complete and incomplete passes.

The combination of Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett has 2,178 air yards combined. So honestly the problem isn’t if the Steelers are throwing deep enough. It’s just the lack of success when they throw deep. When throws are off or receivers drop passes, it puts the offense in bad positions and forces them to often go conservative in an attempt to hold off the pass rush or manufacture yards. This also works in line with the lack of a run game and the passing attack is forced to replace that as well.

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Story originally appeared on Steelers Wire