Steelers shock the Buccaneers despite losing QB Kenny Pickett

Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shakes hands with Mitch Trubisky #10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers after the game at Acrisure Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shakes hands with Mitch Trubisky #10 of the Pittsburgh Steelers after the game at Acrisure Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Despite the odds stacked against them, the Pittsburgh Steelers emerged victorious against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6. 

After a pitiful Week 5 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Mike Tomlin must have had a heck of a pep talk with his team. Despite being decimated with injuries, the Pittsburgh Steelers absolutely came out swinging in Week 6 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Though they were massive ten-point underdogs, the Steelers ultimately pulled out the 20-18 upset against Tom Brady and the Bucs.

This was completely unexpected. The Steelers were missing four-fifths of their secondary for this contest, including Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cameron Sutton, Ahkello Witherspoon, and Levi Wallace. This was in addition to the absence of TE Pat Freiermuth and DL DeMarvin Leal, and with T.J. Watt missing yet another game due to his pectoral injury.

Despite these massive losses, the Steelers never seemed fazed. They played with outstanding energy from the gate. To open the game, Pittsburgh’s defense was fired up as they forced the Buccaneers to a three-and-out.

On the following possession, rookie QB Kenny Pickett marched his team down the field for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. This was excellent to see from a team that has been notorious for not scoring touchdowns on their opening possession.

While the Steelers held a slight lead the whole game, things were looking grim early in the second half. On a missed assignment from OG Kevin Dotson, Pickett was whiplashed by Buccaneers linebacker, Devin White. The quarterback’s head hit off the turf, and Pickett was forced to exit the game. It was later confirmed that Pickett had suffered a concussion and that he was officially ruled out for the remainder of the contest.

Steelers rallied behind Mitch Trubisky

Nobody was thrilled to see Mitch Trubisky step into the game and try to maintain the lead. However, not only did the veteran quarterback keep the Steelers afloat, but his impressive play helped lead them to victory.

Trubisky marched his team down the field for a score and late in the game, and he used his legs to help chew up the clock on the final drive. Eventually, the Steelers were able to line up in victory formation and celebrate the win. Trubisky finished the game by completing 9 of 12 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown, via ESPN stats. He made some huge third-down throws that kept the chains moving and performed better than anyone could have expected.

Trubisky’s go-to option was Chase Claypool, who had his biggest game of the season. Claypool earned the first touchdown reception by a Steelers wide receiver this year and was absolutely clutch on third down. He finished with an impressive stat line of 7 receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown.

While Kenny Pickett started off strong, he did not finish with an impressive stat line in this contest — completing 11 of 18 passes, but going for just 67 yards. It’s remarkable that the Steelers were able to maintain the lead despite just 3.7 yards per attempt from Pickett prior to his departure. The good news is that the rookie showed signs of life early, but the offense didn’t do him any favors by designing plays to go over the middle of the field.

A decimated Steelers defense deserves a huge pat on the back for their stellar performance against Brady and company despite nearly half of their lineup consisting of backup players. Veterans Terrell Edmunds, Cameron Heyward, and Larry Ogunjobi helped energize this unit that allowed just 6.1 yards per pass attempt and 2.9 yards per rush against a talented team in Week 6.

Trending. Kenny Pickett leaves the Steelers vs Buccaneers game with an injury. light

The Steelers were able to avoid a dreaded 1-5 start with a monumental upset over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week. Now at 2-4, they will look to get back into the hunt against the Miami Dolphins in primetime next week. Stay tuned to see if Kenny Pickett will be cleared from his concussion prior to this pivotal matchup.