Editor’s Note: Matt Canada was fired on Tuesday. Originally published in October, this article outlines his struggles during his time with the Steelers.
- Since 2021, the Steelers first quarter offense ranks #31 in yardage and #31 in points scored.
- Out of 26 first-half drives on the season, only ONCE did the Steelers even drive to the red zone.
- 61.1% of the Steelers’ set of downs have reached third down, the highest rate in the league.
Matt Canada became the Steelers’ play-caller in 2021.
Since 2021, NFL teams have averaged 22.4 points per game.
And since 2021, examine the Steelers win-loss split based on only one sole statistic:
Does the defense allow above-average points or below-average points?
If the defense holds their opponent to below-average points (22 or fewer), the Steelers are 19-3-1 (86%).
If the defense allows their opponent to score above-average points, (more than 22) the Steelers are 1-15 (6%).
That shift, from winning 86% to winning only 6%, is the largest in the NFL.
What does it mean?
It means this offense, for going on almost 40 games spanning 2.5 years under Canada’s watch, cannot compete with average.
For the Steelers to win games, it falls on the defense.
A good defensive performance almost always means a Steelers win.
A bad defensive performance almost always means a Steelers loss.
let's talk about Matt Canada
not just this year
since he came to town
first, really think: when was the last time the Steelers defense played poorly but they won because of their offense?
the numbers are shocking
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) October 2, 2023
Steelers fans: ask yourself when was the last time the defense played poorly but the team won because the offense won the game?
You likely can’t remember one because there hasn’t been one.
In fact, looking at the team totals lined for each game, the Steelers are 1-10 (9%) when their opponent exceeds their team total.
Since Canada took over as coordinator, the Steelers are .539 and have won 20 of 38 games. That’s the 14th-best win rate.
But his offense ranks #28 in points scored, #26 in EPA, and #26 in yardage gained.
Canada doesn’t understand how to win games in the NFL.
He doesn’t understand strategy. He doesn’t realize how vital it is to jump out and seize leads, and how often aggressive offense early in games ultimately leads to victories.
Since 2021, the Steelers first quarter offense ranks #31 in yardage and #31 in points scored.
The story remains unchanged in 2023.
In first-half offense this year, the Steelers rank #29 in EPA, #28 in yards, and #25 in points scored.
Out of 26 first-half drives on the season, only ONCE did they even drive to the red zone.
That 3.8% rate (1-of-26) ranks dead last in the NFL.
Their first-half drives average the fewest plays per drive (4.3).
And that is because they average the highest rate of 3-and-outs.
An insane 15-of-26 drives (58%) have gone 3-and-out, the worst in the NFL. The NFL average is only 34%.
61.1% of the Steelers’ set of downs have reached third down, the highest rate in the league.
The league average is 47.5%.
55.4% of the Pittsburgh set of downs create a new set of downs, the lowest rate in the league.
The league average is 70.3%.
He is the three deadly sins of an NFL play-caller: