Head coach Mike Tomlin was able to keep his streak of posting a .500 record or better going in 2022, but that was one of the only positive outcomes for the Pittsburgh Steelers this past year. A rebuilding offense couldn't keep up with a strong defense and the team fell short of the NFL playoffs as a result.
No one person is to blame, though. Coaches, executives and players within Pittsburgh's organization failed to get the job done. Here's a look at three people that let the Steelers down the most in 2022.
Pittsburgh Steelers NFL
1. Matt Canada, OC
This one isn't hard to understand. Yes, offensive coordinator Matt Canada was dealt a poor hand in his second season with Mitchell Trubisky and rookie Kenny Pickett as his quarterback options. However, fans would've been fine with simply seeing improvement over the course of the season and that didn't happen. The Steelers averaged only 19.0 points over the final six games of the year despite seeing enhanced play from Pickett. Not only that, but Pittsburgh ranked 23rd in red zone scoring percentage (51.9%) and 27th in yards per play (4.9). The Steelers can only get so far with a stellar defense in a league that has become all about offense.
2. Dan Moore Jr., OT
I could put the entire offensive line here as the Steelers gave up the 38.0 sacks for the second straight season after only allowing 14.0 sacks in 2020. Pittsburgh also averaged just 4.2 yards per rushing attempt (No. 25 in NFL) as holes simply never opened up for running back Najee Harris. If any one lineman is responsible, it is Dan Moore Jr. The 24-year-old allowed 7.0 sacks and drew 10 penalties, both of which were the highest marks along the starting offensive line. Moore has now allowed 7.0 sacks in two straight seasons to begin his career after being drafted as a fourth-round pick. Something is going to have to change in his development this offseason.
3. Diontae Johnson, WR
Expectations were justifiably high for wide receiver Diontae Johnson in 2022 considering he posted 1,161 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2021. He was unable to meet those high expectations with 882 yards on 86 receptions (career-low 10.3-yard average). Johnson even set the NFL record for most receptions in a season without a touchdown, which showcases his tendency to disappear near the end zone. Johnson has always been criticized for his drops and he did nothing to prove his doubters wrong in that sense. His 58.5% catch percentage was the worst of his career, he dropped 7 passes and 6 interceptions came when he was targeted on the play. Johnson needs to step up with a bounce-back campaign in 2023.
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