Will Mitch Trubisky deliver tonight on what he's been preaching?

Mitch Trubisky has an opportunity to silence the critics tonight on Thursday Night Football
Pittsburgh Steelers, Mitch Trubisky
Pittsburgh Steelers, Mitch Trubisky / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

After a humiliating loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the Steelers now face the struggling New England Patriots on a short week for Thursday Night Football. This upcoming game is undeniably a must-win situation for Pittsburgh, as losing two consecutive games at home to struggling teams could generate significant buzz.

If they deliver another lackluster performance on Thursday night, two inevitable outcomes loom large: firstly, job security on the coaching staff should be in jeopardy once the season concludes, and secondly, the Steelers will likely miss out on the playoffs. To silence the mounting criticism, the Steelers must play significantly better than the disappointing display witnessed on Sunday – a win could be the antidote to all the noise.

Will Mitch Trubisky deliver on what he's been preaching?

Offensively, the team has seen some improvement in moving the ball under Kenny Pickett. However, the recent switch to Mitch Trubisky for the next couple of weeks raises concerns about potential setbacks. Trubisky's takeover last Sunday led to an offense that struggled to move the ball until garbage time and appeared stagnant.

This change comes at a crucial time as the Steelers gear up to face a very tough Patriots defense, who has only allowed 10 points or less in three consecutive games. Adding to the challenge, the Patriots also boast a strong run defense, setting the stage for a tough matchup for a Steelers offense looking to lean on once again its biggest strength.

Trubisky has been vocal throughout the week about the aggressive approach he and the offense plan to adopt. This contrasts with the Steelers' overall lack of aggression this season. With Trubisky in charge and his tendency for downfield risks and untimely turnovers in critical situations, exercising caution becomes imperative. Against this stout defense, being careless with the football or making sloppy mistakes is a luxury the Steelers cannot afford. The desired aggressiveness must be balanced with careful calculation, avoiding impulsive decisions.

Given the expected challenges in running the football on Thursday night, especially with the potential absence of two starting offensive linemen, the success of the running game is uncertain. Consequently, Trubisky becomes crucial in determining the game's outcome. How well Trubisky handles the challenges posed by the Patriots' defense and strikes a balance between aggressiveness and caution is likely to be a key factor in determining whether the Steelers come out on top.

The defense faces a desperate offense

Defensively, the Steelers are going up against a struggling Patriots offense that might be without its entire wide receiver core due to injuries, as well as their starting running back, Rhamondre Stevenson. On the flip side, the Steelers are dealing with the challenge of having practice squad linebackers, which played a significant role in their loss last Sunday.

Looking ahead, I expect the Patriots to exploit the Steelers' vulnerable linebacker situation, especially utilizing their two talented tight ends. The middle linebackers, already a weak point for the Steelers, could face increased pressure.

In an effort to jumpstart their struggling offense, the Patriots might employ a strategy involving a good amount of play-action and deep shots downfield. As a team in a desperate situation, they'll likely try anything to generate some offensive momentum. The Steelers, dealing with defensive shortcomings, need to be ready for an offense looking for any advantage to break free from their offensive struggles.

Brace yourselves for Thursday's electric showdown

With an over/under set at 30, reflecting the perceived lackluster performances of both offenses, this game could turn into an absolute defensive battle, possibly setting back football for 50 years. While the final score might resemble a baseball game, the Steelers, with more at stake, are desperate for a win to advance to 8-5. Despite the potential for a close, low-scoring affair and the nostalgic echo of an old-school era, the Steelers are a tad bit more poised to pull out a victory.