Kenny Pickett left the game against the Ravens with an injury and Steelers backup quarterback, Mitch Trubisky, really struggled in his absence.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had some very unfortunate luck early in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14. Before this game really even got off the ground, rookie quarterback, Kenny Pickett, was forced to exit the contest with a head injury as the medical team placed him in concussion protocol.
As a result, former starter Mitch Trubisky was forced to enter the game. On his first offensive series, things were looking promising. Trubisky connected with rookie WR George Pickens down the sideline and the Steelers eventually capped off their drive with a Najee Harris touchdown at the goal line.
However, things quickly went south for the veteran quarterback. Trailing in the second quarter, Trubisky tried to mount a comeback but made some terrible decisions. On back-to-back drives, he telegraphed throws over the middle to tight end, Pat Freiermuth. His questionable decision-making led to back-to-back interceptions.
By the end of the first half, Mitch Trubisky had a cringeworthy stat line of 123 yards with 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Surprisingly, Trubisky managed 11.2 yards per attempt thanks to some spectacular catches by Pickens in traffic. This is roughly double the yards per attempt we saw from him when he was a starter earlier this year. However, his two early turnovers really hurt this team.
In the second half, it was much of the same. Trubisky had an offensive series stall early in the third quarter. On his second series, he had yet another terrible interception on an overthrow to Diontae Johnson — his third pick of the game.
Eventually, Trubisky finished with a stat line of 22 of 30 for 276 yards with 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions in a 16-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14, per ESPN stats. His lone passing touchdown came late when the Steelers were down two scores.
Steelers need Kenny Pickett back
This was incredibly discouraging performance all around. Pittsburgh’s run defense was abysmal as they allowed the Ravens to gash them for 215 yards on the ground. But what was most concerning was the play from quarterback Mitch Trubisky. His questionable decision-making against the Ravens could very well prove to be the dagger in Pittsburgh’s 2022 season.
While I can’t guarantee that the Steelers would have won this game had Kenny Pickett not gotten injured, it stands to reason that this team probably would have put up more than 16 points. After all, this is the same team under Pickett that has scored at least 16 points in the first half alone in each of their last three games and has been averaging nearly 25 points per game since the bye week.
Meanwhile, Kenny Pickett has the second-longest active streak in the NFL without an interception. What’s done is done, and at 5-8, Pittsburgh isn’t guaranteed to make the playoffs even if they win out at this point.
This team desperately needs Kenny Pickett to get healthy and return to the field. If nothing else at this point, we need to see that the Pittsburgh Steelers have their franchise quarterback in place for the future. It’s too bad that this game with the season on the line had to be decided by a backup quarterback who couldn’t take care of the football.