The Steelers have not played well offensively the past three games, with dropped passes, turnovers and not enough points. They have gone 1-2 in that stretch.
Pittsburgh has averaged 17 points the past three games after averaging 29.9 points through their first 10 games. They have five turnovers in that stretch after only nine giveaways in the first 10 games. They have averaged 294.7 yards the past three games, including only 45.3 yards on the ground.
Ben Roethlisberger has four consecutive games with a passer rating below 90, tying for the second-longest streak of his career without a passer rating of 90 or higher.
“If you’re going to throw the football, you’ve got to catch the football,” offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said Thursday, via Mike Prisuta of the team website.
The Steelers lead the NFL in dropped passes with 27, according to NBC Sports, with Diontae Johnson having a league-leading nine.
“We’d love to be more balanced,” Fichtner said. “We’d love to be able to run it when we want to run it, throw it when we want to throw it and execute in the possession downs and red zones and be consistent. I think what gets disappointing is two weeks ago we were inconsistent in the red zone. Last week, we were consistent in the red zone; we just weren’t down there enough. Three weeks ago, we were really great on third down and then last week we weren’t good on third down.
“We don’t, probably, have to be the best at any one of those, but we can’t be the worst once and then the best the next day. Consistency has to start coming through. I would bet if we went back even early in the season it wasn’t always like that either, just consistent in every facet of the game. But it felt like you were more medium than you were hot and cold. What’s missing right now is just maybe a little more consistently catching the football.”
Roethlisberger is ranked near the bottom in average air yards, averaging only 7.0 air yards per attempt, according to Next Gen Stats.
“I’m not afraid to throw it deep,” Fichtner said.
The Steelers were scheduled to work on deep balls Thursday, but Roethlisberger didn’t practice, taking a maintenance day.