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Mike Tomlin's Pragmatic Approach as Steelers Exceed 400 Yards in Victory Over Bengals

In a strategic move that saw the firing of offensive coordinator Matt Canada just five days earlier, the Pittsburgh Steelers managed to break through the 400-yard offensive barrier after 58 games. Despite resulting in only one touchdown, this offensive resurgence proved pivotal as the Steelers secured a crucial 16-10 victory over division rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals, on Sunday.

Addressing the transformed offensive dynamics in his postgame news conference, Tomlin adopted a measured stance, stating, "I'm not trying to paint with a broad brush and act like eureka. We did what we needed to do to win today, and we'll keep pushing."

The dismissal of Canada brought a noticeable shift in the offensive strategy against the Bengals. The most significant outcome was Pittsburgh accumulating 421 total yards, finally breaking free from a streak of 58 games without reaching the 400-yard mark.

Quarterback Kenny Pickett acknowledged the adjustments, emphasizing the need to adapt to the new play-caller's style. Despite some penalty issues and a turnover, Pickett expressed satisfaction with the team's overall performance, citing productive drives and effective ball movement.

Steelers managed to look renewed with getting 400 rushing yards against the Bengals. Photo: @steelers
Steelers managed to look renewed with getting 400 rushing yards against the Bengals. Photo: @steelers

While Pittsburgh's offensive display wasn't flawless, it showcased the payoff of hard work and evident progress. The Steelers, who managed only 249 total yards in a Week 11 loss to the Cleveland Browns, nearly doubled that output by halftime against the Bengals, accumulating 221 yards.

Pickett's performance was noteworthy, completing 24 of 33 passes for 278 yards—his first game of the season with over 275 yards, breaking a four-game streak with 160 or fewer yards. Coach Tomlin emphasized the focus on winning, and both he and Pickett embraced the "winners today" sentiment.

Running back Najee Harris had a standout game, garnering a season-high 99 yards on 15 carries and securing the team's lone touchdown with a 5-yard run in the third quarter.

In critical offensive metrics where the Steelers had previously struggled, they demonstrated substantial improvement. Yards per play increased to 6.2, total offense reached 421 yards, first downs rose to 22, and time of possession hit a season-high 37 minutes and 17 seconds.

TJ Watt's Week 12 stats against the Bengals. Photo: @steelers
TJ Watt's Week 12 stats against the Bengals. Photo: @steelers

While not a dazzling offensive showcase, the Steelers, now standing at 7-4, showcased significant improvement, a testament to coaches Eddie Faulkner and Mike Sullivan leading the charge. Whether this marks a sustained turnaround or a one-game surge remains uncertain, but with upcoming matchups against sub-.500 teams, including the Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, and a rematch with the Bengals at home, the Steelers' playoff prospects appear promising.

In conclusion, while Sunday's offensive display may not have been aesthetically pleasing, the Steelers' outlook for the future looks considerably brighter than it did just a week ago.

This is Dez Barnes of Pretty Girls Love Sports, a journalist on the MTMV Sports platform. She is a retired US Army veteran, professional cheerleader, pet mom, and avid sports lover. Feel free to follow her writings as she dives into the latest sports news! You can find her on all social media channels @PGLOVESPORTS.

1 Comment

What a difference a lack of coordinator makes. #Steelers

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