The Pittsburgh Steelers won their week one matchup against the Bengals 23-20 in an overtime thriller. It was also our first taste of Mitch Trubisky running the offense. It was a lackluster performance but let’s dig into it a little bit.
Is Mitch Trubisky the answer?
I will get this out of the way now. Mitch Trubisky looked lousy, plain and simple. I don’t want to be one of those people who jumps the gun and is screaming for Kenny just yet but, Mitch needs to do better. The offensive line could have been better but it looked better than it has all offseason. I saw Mitch have way more time to throw on a consistent basis than Ben Roethlisberger had all year. Trubisky, after watching the game missed on about a third of his passes where there was no chance of being caught. I did not see him targeting the middle of the field like we all anticipated them to do and I did not see many passes pass the first down marker.
This offense looks a lot like last year. Check down throws and short routes to receivers expecting the receivers to break a play with their athletic ability. Well, it didn’t work last year and so far it’s not working this year. When you have guys being covered closely and a lot of defenders in the area due to a stacked box it’s kind of hard for these receivers to break multiple tackles every possession. Too many come back routes were being hit and not enough deep shots or strikes to the middle of the field. So with that being said just like last year the offense is predictable.
I would not say the Bengals secondary is great. They ranked 27th last season and will probably be close to that rank again this year. The Steelers have great dynamic weapons who should be able to exploit these matchups. When you look at the tape guys were open and Mitch was not always seeing them. You can very clearly see George Pickens frustration during the game, a guy I am very surprised wasn’t involved more. At this point do we really believe Mitch is better than Mason? They look very similar to me, if the first read isn’t there go for the check down.
Before you chew my head off, let me explain. A key moment in the game was a third and long where the Bengals were only rushing three. They had their secondary backed off ready for a deep shot to convert. Trubisky had pretty solid protection and had time to allow the play to develop. Instead, almost instinctively he just settled on the check down. Again, very similar to what was happening last year.
It is the first game of the season, guys are rusty and working on getting back into game shape. I won’t throw the towel in on Mitch just yet but there is reason for concern. The offense cannot keep the defense on the field as much as they did. As always you saw a stagnant offense and a defense who began tiring. The Steelers absolutely dominated the Bengals in the first half and it really came down to the offense to just sustain a few solid drives. They were not able to get it done and it needs to turn around very quickly or we will be in for a long season with this tough schedule.
As always thank you for reading. You can always find great Steelers content here on Gridiron Heroics.
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