Questions the Steelers must answer vs Lions in preseason finale

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) before a game against the Seattle Seahawks at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) before a game against the Seattle Seahawks at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Steelers are entering their final preseason game against the Detroit Lions and here are the questions we must see them answer before the season.

There is just one game left in the 2022 preseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Mike Tomlin still has plenty of questions his team must answer. Certain players and positional groups have been rock-solid in exhibition action this year, while others are coming off back-to-back disappointing performances.

The Steelers have some crucial decisions to make not only when it comes to final roster cuts, but also when determining their initial depth chart to open the 2022 season. These are some of the biggest questions that Pittsburgh must answer against the Detroit Lions in the preseason finale.

Can the Steelers offensive line make strides?

Of all the questions we must see answered, there may not be one more important than this. The Steelers starting offensive line has looked abysmal in their first two performances and they cannot afford to play this way when they take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1 in an important divisional matchup.

The team is counting on players like Dan Moore and James Daniels to be cornerstones to that offensive line, but so far, both players have been very disappointing. Meanwhile, Kendrick Green looks like a player who shouldn’t even be on an NFL roster — much less competing for a starting job. This unit has got to gel fast with an encouraging performance in Steelers preseason finale.

Who should be the Steelers starting QB for Week 1?

The one question fans are most excited to see answered is who will be Pittsburgh’s starting quarterback Week 1 this year. For the whole offseason, it looked like this was a job that Mitch Trubisky was going to run away with. While he has played well in the preseason, Kenny Pickett has been even better and is making the case to start from day one.

The biggest factor for me, however, is the offensive line. I would be worried about throwing the rookie to the wolves behind an OL that has looked atrocious to this point. How well the starting OL plays and what Trubisky and Pickett do in their final performances could perhaps dictate which QB is named the starter to begin the season.

How will the Steelers running back depth sort itself out?

I’m very interested to see what’s going to happen at the running back position this year. Though he hasn’t taken a snap in the preseason, we know that Najee Harris is going to be the bell-cow back. Beyond that, this is a race that is difficult to predict.

Anthony McFarland and Jaylen Warren both impressed against the Seahawks in the first preseason game but fell back down to earth behind poor run blocking against the Jaguars last week. Between these two and Benny Snell, there might be three dogs fighting for two bones. Their performances in the final preseason game could help decide who stays and who goes.

Will Kevin Dotson officially be named the starting left guard?

I’m not alone in saying that I’ve seen enough from Kendrick Green and the experiment at left guard. Against my better judgment, Mike Tomlin opted to switch him from center to guard in 2022 and the bite-sized Green has been completely unable to hold up at the point of attack.

Still, there is a little bit of uncertainty that Kevin Dotson still might not get the nod to start the season as the left guard. Dotson obviously hasn’t been perfect, but the sample he has put together early in his career is still much better than what we’ve seen from Green. He needs to put this competition to bed in the preseason finale.

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There are plenty of other players and positional battles to watch during the Steelers vs Lions in preseason Week 3, but these are the most pressing questions we must have answers to before the start of the 2022 season.