The Steelers generated zero points, and 64 total yards, with 15 net pass yards in the first half in Week 11, the second game for Pittsburgh with no points and fewer than 70 total yards in a first half of a game this season (most such games in NFL, only three other teams have one such game). It marked the fewest net pass yards in the first half by Pittsburgh since Week 15, 2020 (7 yards; Ben Roethlisberger was the starting QB).
In total, Kenny Pickett generated 77 net passing yards in Sunday’s loss, the fewest by the Steelers since Week 17, 2019, at Baltimore, when undrafted quarterback Devlin Hodges made the start.
The 6-4 Steelers remain in the No. 7 seed in a bunched AFC playoff race, but that’s on the strength of the defense, with rare glimpses of help from the offense.
“You could do two things,” he said. “You could look at the record and say, ‘OK, we’re still good right now.’ Or we could look at the record and be like, ‘If we keep playing this type of football, how long is that s— going to last?’ I look at it like, ‘How long that s— going to last?’ Y’all could look at it like it’s a good record, but I mean, it’s the NFL. Winning how we did, it’s not going to get us nowhere.”
Harris is fighting through struggles of his own. Sunday, he generated 35 yards on 12 carries for a paltry 2.9 yards per carry average. Like most weeks, the Steelers run game had few lanes to find. According to Next Gen Stats, Harris generated a +12 Rush Yards Over Expected, suggesting his numbers should look even more ghastly.
“I couldn’t get things going,” Harris said. “It seems like every time I had got it, it seemed like the defense was playing it to … minimize my role. … I just couldn’t get anything going. Lucky we got Jaylen going, so that was good to have him play. They were sitting on screens for me. Even in the run game, they were just blowing stuff up.”
Fellow running back Jaylen Warren was the only bright spot in an otherwise dreary Steelers offense, earning 129 rushing yards on nine carries, including a 74-yard touchdown run, the only time Pittsburgh hit pay dirt on the day. Even if you take out the big run, Warren still averaged 6.88 yards on his eight other carries.
Warren generated 145 scrimmage yards. All other Steelers players put up 133 scrimmage yards. The big play running back has earned more touches, but the reality is there will be no turnaround until the offense starts stacking first downs and getting more consistent play across the board.
“Is it fixable? Yeah. Are we going to fix it? S—,” Harris said, shaking his head and trailing off.
He added: “I just don’t know what to do. I’m just stuck in this situation where I just don’t have an answer to it. And I don’t have an answer to it. All I can do is just ride this wave.”
The Steelers have put up fewer than 400 total yards in 58 straight games (longest active streak). Pittsburgh has a league-low 19 red zone drives in 2023 (one red zone drive in Week 11).