A few factors caused Pittsburgh to fall short, most notably Ben Roethlisberger missing games due to injury. Also Martavis Bryant sitting out the first four games hurt. The Steelers have averaged 29 points per game with Bryant on the field the past two seasons, versus 22 points without the dynamic wideout.
Bryant will miss the entire 2016 season, but that won't lessen the team's objective.
"Thirty points per game is still a goal," offensive coordinator Todd Haley said, via the team's official website. "I think what we did great last year was we got in the red zone a bunch. We probably scored six out of the 10 times we were in there and we always want that to be better. There's not a lot of separation from us and the top teams in the red, but clearly when you get down into that area of the field you got to come away with points and the more times it's touchdowns the better.
"If you're looking at reasons why we didn't get to 30, I'd say turnovers number one. Anytime you give up possessions, you're giving yourself one less chance to score points. And then red. I think we did a pretty good job scoring outside the fringe red area. We made some big plays, so those have to continue. We have to get a little better in the red and then we'll be going in the right direction."
Despite Bryant's absence this season, Pittsburgh still boasts one of the explosive offensive units in the NFL. Antonio Brown is the best receiver on the planet, Le'Veon Bell -- who should be healthy -- is the top dual-threat in the NFL and Big Ben remains among the top quarterback in the league. How Markus Wheaton, Sammie Coates et al., replace Bryant will determine whether 30 points is feasible or just an annual summer pipe dream.