The run game didn’t help things. The rushing attack was held to 44 yards.
You’re talking about 30-35 snapped opportunities in the game,” says Tomlin. “We're just not getting enough snaps for [the running backs] to show what they're capable of doing. The fact is that we're not converting third downs and limiting our opportunities because of [limited snap opportunities]."
The Steelers converted just 3 (of 12) third downs Monday night (25%). Tomlin says the reason for that, is that the offense isn't doing enough on first and second down.
“If you just took a snap shot of the third down opportunities in the game, 3rd and 8, 3rd and 9, 3rd and 10, globally speaking, you're not going to convert a lot of those,” says Tomlin. “When I talk about the Chicago Bears converting 50% of their third downs, it's because largely they're in manageable situations. Third and medium, if you will. We have to get more of those situations, and largely because of what we're doing on first and second down."
A much-needed bright spot could be coming soon. Tight end Heath Miller will participate fully in practice.
"Now, make no mistake,” says Tomlin. “We are not expecting Heath to step out of a phone booth with a cape on. But we are looking forward to watching him work and letting the result of that guide us in terms of how we proceed throughout the week."
It will be interesting to see if the Steelers can pick things up a bit by Sunday night, when they host the 2-0 Chicago Bears.
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