Steelers Keeping Poor Company In Under-30-Points Crowd

The Pittsburgh Steelers for a few years were openly talking about a 30-point standard for their unit as a reasonable score that they could average on a per-game basis, such was the talent that they had all over the unit.

The closest they were able to get to hitting that goal came in 2014, when they averaged 27.3 points per game. They were able to hit the 30-point mark in seven games, but even that was not even half of the schedule. They also reached the plateau seven times in 2015, including in six consecutive games, but only averaged 26.4 points.

They kind of stopped talking about it after that, and they only reached it four times last year. Through eight games this season, they haven’t done it once. And when you look around the league at the other teams who have failed to do so, it is not good company that they keep.

Only six teams in the NFL, including the Steelers, have failed to come up with at least 30 points in any single game during the 2017 season, and Pittsburgh is the only one among them with a winning record. Only Washington among the others is even at a .500 record.

The other four teams have no more than three wins, the Chargers and Bears each hitting that low bar. Even worse are the Giants and Browns, who have just a single victory between them.

Every single other team in the league—26 out of 32—has been able to put up 30 points in a game at least once, and the vast majority have done so more than once.

One might simply argue that the statistic is largely meaningless; and truth be told, one would be right. After all, among those other teams with at least one 30-point game under their belt this season are the Colts, the Bengals, the Broncos, and the 49ers.

Ultimately, it doesn’t mean a great deal whether or not a team scores 30 points. It doesn’t matter at all provided that they win; and the Steelers have the second-best record in the NFL, behind only the 8-1 Eagles.

The only reason that the 30-point discussion is even being had is because it was the Steelers, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who made it a discussion. Touting the weapons at their disposal, they argued that this should be a high-scoring offense.

And it hasn’t been. In fact, they rank 20th in the league, averaging just 20.9 points per game, which would be their lowest mark since 2011 when they averaged 20.3 points for the season. That is the only time in Roethlisberger’s career in which the Steelers averaged below 21 points per game.

They do fare better on a per-drive basis, ranking 12th in the percentage of drives that end in scores. They also rank 15th in points per drive. Neither of those are good, but not as bad as 20th. And hey, they did score 29 points.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • I only need 1 more point then the opposition.

  • John Pennington

    The offense has to put up more points to help the defense so they dont have all the pressure to make a stop.To many close games and with all the missed tackles and sometimes the secondary out of position in coverage makes these games harder than they need to be.Offense has to score more points thats just the way it is no getting around it.Do their share of the work.

  • Stairway7

    Either score more points or sustain drives in the 4th quarter. My stomach turns upside down when we’re up 7-10 points and have a string of 3 plays and out in the fourth quarter. Puts alot of pressure on the defense when the opposing team is getting the ball 4-5 times in the fourth quarter.

  • EdJHJr

    On the other hand the Jags, had a 13-7 lead on the bungles at half and basically ran the ball the entire second half. And scored 10 points. And won.

    We’re we beating them when we decided to throw the ball the second half.

    Up the middle and punt would have won that game

  • Preston Coe

    Coach Tomlin mentioned yesterday that our Offense has played a lot of top ten defenses, so they are probably better than they may seem. He also said our Defense hasn’t played many top offenses, so they are probably not as good as many think. I think if they play to their potential coming down the stretch, we should make the deep run that everyone has been expecting. Play better on third down on both sides of the ball, play better in the red zone, and keep pressuring on D and we will be fine.

  • Jon Crissinger

    The Rams went from a nobody last year to an offensive juggernaut this season. 32.9 points per game and second in yards per game only to New England. I don’t understand how our offensive talent can’t produce similar numbers. Sean McVay is a genius

  • Lambert58

    The fact that they have not put up 30 points in a season yet is a disgrace. With the talent we have on offense, there is no excuse for continuing that trend much longer. Hopefully with the emergence of JuJu, the offense will finally come to life for a whole game.

  • Cwallace

    Oh..don’t get me started on that game. You’re right sir. I said it the entire week before the game before the misery..RunThe Ball

  • Michael Mosgrove

    fire haley.


    this many weapons and not going to do much with it.

    he is average at best and i already pointed out his record against bad teams as our o coordinator.

    lure tony romo from the broadcast booth and make him the coordinator.

    haley is an average coach and a horrible human being.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    the bears had top 5 pass defenses and bottom 3 run defense when we played them. what did we do? throw the ball 50 times.

  • Matt

    How? Ben has been average at best this year. That’s how. Play calling plays a role here, but the folks calling the plays haven’t changed since last year and this offense put up 30+ points last year. When you control for the other variables the difference comes down to Ben not playing particularly well. I try to remain optimistic that he’ll find a way to recapture his form, but with every passing game, I’m becoming more resigned to the fact that the 2017 Ben is basically an average NFL QB and that’s it. I think the coaching staff needs to get more creative with the run game and try to work on ways to take the ball out of Ben’s hands.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    you mean what we did in the ravens game? score 19 points and ride it to the end? which we almost lost because there team picked it up in the second half?

    the steelers han the same play progressions in the 2nd half 22 times. 22!
    run run run punt
    run run run punt
    run pass pass punt

    no just no.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    did you even read the article? they didnt average 30 last year.

  • Jon Crissinger

    Averaged 24.4 points per game last year. Also, Bell has almost 100 more rushing yards than Gurley on the season. Brown has 300 more yards receiving than their leading receiver. But they still average more yards and points than us

  • Matt

    I didn’t say they averaged 30 points last year. I said they exceeded 30 points in a game last year – a feat they accomplished in more than one game: Redskins, Chiefs, Jets, Ravens II. Perhaps I didn’t say that as clearly as I should have. This year they have not passed the 30 point mark in a single game. Where am I wrong?

  • Matt

    That isn’t going to make Ben improve. We’ve had several offensive coordinators on this team. The offense has never been what it was supposed to be. There have been years in which it was very good. But it always seems to have fallen short of the expectation of greatness. I think blaming the OCs is easy. But I suspect that the real culprit is Ben. He has never been a guy who throws his receivers open and he’s always had more than a little inconsistency to his play. I really think he’s got a lot of the same problems that Brett Favre had. He’s a gunslinger and he doesn’t always make the best of decisions. He can have great days, but he’ll also have a bunch of days where his play is average to abysmal. Given his age, the physical style of his play and the degree to which his game has always been more dependent on natural talent/feel than technique and ability to read the field, I think we’re going to see a more significant decline in his play than we’ll see with a guy like Brady.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    i didnt say it would make ben improve but the offense as a whole would improve with some fresh blood from someone who wasn’t outsmarted years ago.

    ben is large part of the problem. don’t get mew wrong. but bland schemes, bad coaching, bad use of players. all fall on haley.

    haley is average. always has been and always will be. its part of the reason he was fired from arizona. part of the reason he was fired from kc.

  • LOL, you sound like Generic Steelers Fan who created that profile to make fun of guys like you, LOL!!!

  • Preston Coe

    Yeah…puzzling for sure.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    dunno who that is, but i will say this one more time.
    i could not care less.
    i dont use my fandom to compete with others.
    i don’t do things because others will or will not like them.
    i dont say things because of others. if you look at my posts on this site i’ve got about 40% of my post total in upvotes and that doesnt bother me.

    i’ve been insulted on this site and others for years. does not matter to me.

    i’m not one for rash judgements. i try and do my research, i try and look at things objectively.

    haley has not done anything impressive since coming here. arians wasnt any better. the biggest improvement of our offense has come from now any of the skill group coaches or tomlin. it has come from mike munchak who has kept ben upright much more.

    having met haley personally, i think he is scum.

    you may disagree with most of what i say and that is fine. that is your choice.

  • You don’t come here to post because of what others think, nor do you care if other will or wont like it? Then why did you post about your car accident? What purpose did that serve if you weren’t looking for pity?

  • Jeff Papiernik

    I think bad matchups is also playing a role. Look at our opponents…..Lions, Vikings, Ravens, Bears, Bengals, Jaguars all have defenses in the top half of the league. The only efforts I’m disappointed in thus far were week 1 against the Browns (should’ve torched them) and the Chiefs who I think are vastly overrated especially on the defensive side of the ball. But even those two games were on the road. Our second half is much more favorable with matchups against the likes of the Titans, the Colts, the Packers, the Texans, the shell of their former self Patriots, and the Browns at home. So I expect bigger things from the offense this second half.

  • Matthew Marczi

    They only played two games before that at the time, which is an insignificant sample size. Halfway through the season, they have the 11th-ranked pass defense and 13th-ranked run defense based on yardage.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    i come here to share what i see. whether people take that is on them.

    as far as my car accident i shared that because i was unable to go to the games and had to sell a few tickets to games. which i did end up doing.

  • You were just looking for invites to your pity party.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Whatever you say dude. If you don’t want to see what i write then block me. I care not about you. So I will block you so I don’t have to listen to your tripe.

  • Carl Mendelius

    Forget 30+ points, Ben is struggling just to throw within receivers reach, but hey he continues to throw for 30+ yards on 3rd and 1. Haley needs to go next season.