The Ugly: Key Injuries at the Wrong Time
Losing Minkah Fitzpatrick and Kenny Pickett in this game was painful for the fanbase and for the roster. Not only are they key players, but their reserves are less than desirable to have on the field.
Starting with the quarterback, Mitch Trubisky is just too dangerous with the football, and not in a good way. On the scoring drive, he delivered a no-no-yes play to Diontae Johnson, but it was so ill-advised that the success of the play can justifiably be ignored that a quarterback with his veteran status prone to turnovers should entertain that throw.
After the touchdown drive, he showed further unjust aggression by launching a pass deep down the middle into triple coverage, which allowed Jacksonville to ice the game.
On the defensive side, Fitzpatrick isn't making the splash plays he made his name for early in his Pittsburgh tenure, but his presence is invaluable. Quarterbacks respect his ability to change the game and he is sure to hold his assignment, something his reserves struggled to do.
The trio of Damontae Kazee, Keanu Neal, and Miles Killebrew all struggled in one phase or another to make up for Fitzpatrick's absence, allowing players like Evan Engram to make plays over the middle and pick up crucial YAC yardage.
Kazee, though he did have a red zone interception early, abandoned his assignment on the Etienne touchdown that was ultimately the biggest difference in the game.