'We're not finished'

They're not where they want to be as an offense yet, but the Steelers are getting there.

"We're moving in the right direction," offensive coordinator Matt Canada acknowledged prior to practice today. "Obviously, we're nowhere near a finished product. We're still leaving some points out there, leaving some plays out there.

"But I think as a general trend I think we have to say we're running the ball better, we're doing some things better which is opening up some other options in the pass game, so I think we're trending. We have a long, long way to go, obviously, we gotta win more games. But we're moving the right way, I think we've made some progress the last couple weeks."

The stat sheet agrees.

The offense has gained more than 300 total yards in five consecutive games after managing that just twice over the season's first six weeks.

The Steelers have scored 20 or more points in three straight games, after doing so three times in the first eight.

Third downs have been converted at a 47.1 percent clip or better in three straight games, something the Steelers had managed to do two times previously.

They've rushed for at least 100 yards in four successive outings after doing so just twice in the first seven games.

And they haven't lost a fumble or thrown an interception since suffering one of each on Oct. 30 at Philadelphia.

The Steelers committed 14 giveaways in the first eight games.

"We've had more productivity because we haven't turned the ball over," Canada said.

The offense has also benefitted from the same five players starting all 11 games across the offensive line.

Left tackle Dan Moore Jr, left guard Kevin Dotson, center Mason Cole, right guard James Daniels and right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor have had the time by now to develop the cohesion so critical to collective success.

"We go back to the beginning of the season when things weren't quite what we wanted, it does take time," Canada said. "Everybody wants that time to be over however many weeks ago we started. But those guys knowing where each other's gonna be, how they're gonna come off combinations, I mean there's a reason that offensive line is, in my opinion, the most important position on offense.

"If you can't block 'em, it doesn't matter what else you can do. It doesn't matter, you gotta be able to block 'em. I think our guys have done a real good job of working at it and fighting and clawing and getting better.

"Again, we're not finished. But those guys are doing a good job and I think them being able to continue to stick together is a big part o that."