Mitch Trubisky was tasked with replacing Kenny Pickett once again this week, and he had a solid performance. Here is how he performed for the Steelers.
The Steelers picked up win number six Sunday, defeating the Carolina Panthers 24-16 on the road. After some speculation about who would start, Mitch Trubisky was tasked with replacing injured starter Kenny Pickett once again. He played well enough to hold off a surging Panthers team.
It wasn’t anything spectacular, but he played within himself and didn’t make any of the mistakes he made last week against Baltimore. Let’s dive into his performance.
Steelers QB Mitch Trubisky plays the game manager role perfectly
The Steelers decided to stick with Trubisky this week despite his poor showing against the Ravens, something I was weary of. He turned in a solid but unspectacular performance, but it’s all the Steelers needed with how their defense played.
The most important aspect of Trubisky’s performance was his efficiency: 12-16 on third-down conversions and no turnovers. The zero turnovers were the biggest change after having three just last week. When he is given simple reads and doesn’t force passes like what happened Sunday, he can be an effective QB. He also was aided by top receiver Diontae Johnson (10 catches for 98 yards) routinely working open to convert third downs.
Despite getting the victory, things about his performance bothered me. George Pickens was not involved nearly enough despite his big 38-yard catch early in the game. Pat Freiermuth was not even targeted in the game, maybe due to Trubisky throwing two bad picks while targeting him last week.
Overall, the overreliance on Johnson made the passing game very predictable. Had the Steelers been facing a better team it likely wouldn’t have been nearly as effective.
Trubisky still clearly limited as a starter
Trubisky finished with a stat line of 17 of 22 passing for 179 yards and a rushing touchdown. It was yet another example of the team being better the less he had to do himself. The problem with Trubisky is simple: if he tries to be anything more than a game manager, he unravels and turns the ball over. He still hasn’t learned to read the field or use his eyes to manipulate defenders.
That was made apparent by his interceptions against the Ravens. When his first or second read is open consistently, he can move the ball and sustain drives. Ask anything more from him and disaster is just around the corner. This game shows why he can be a valuable stop-gap starter or backup, but nothing more.