The 2022 NFL season is formally underway with season-opening video games concluded and in Pittsburgh a brand new period has begun. With Ben Roethlisberger in full retirement, the Mitch Trubisky-led offense is in full swing.
Having gained the beginning quarterback job beating out rookie Kenny Pickett and final yr’s backup, Mason Rudolph, Trubisky who was as soon as a starter in Chicago is a starter once more whereas sporting the Black and Gold colours.
Pittsburgh opened the season in Cincinnati and had been underdogs to the defending AFC champion Bengals. By profitable in time beyond regulation in what turned out to be a topsy-turvy recreation that resembled a heavyweight boxing match, the final stable punch that landed gained the battle. Missed PATs and subject targets by each groups led the sport into an additional body the place Chris Boswell lastly managed to nail a game-winning subject aim as time within the time beyond regulation interval was operating out.
Whereas Steelers followers had been hoping to see a “new look” offense from Trubisky and his unit, it was Pittsburgh’s protection that stole the present. Storming out of the locker room, T.J. Watt and firm seemed like a playoff-ready unit as they dominated Joe Burrow and his offense practically from begin to end. Sadly, Watt received damage within the recreation and his standing is up within the air but it surely seems he can be out for a minimum of just a few weeks.
Nonetheless, it wasn’t simply Watt that shined. Certainly one of my favourite acquisitions within the low season was that of former Jacksonville Jaguar Myles Jack. I consider he’s going to be a significant component on protection and in week one he proved me proper. Jack was second on the group in tackles with 10 together with six solo takedowns. Jack additionally defended one cross and had one deal with for a loss.
Minkah Fitzpatrick received the Steelers on the board early with a pick-six after which completed the sport with 14 tackles to steer the group 10 of these on his personal. However total, the protection was magnificent. The mighty ‘D reached Joe Burrow within the backfield seven occasions forcing the Bengals’ QB into throwing 4 interceptions and fumbling twice dropping a type of unfastened balls.
Credit score to Joe Burrow for getting his group again into the sport within the second half and having the sport gained with simply two seconds left in regulation when he hit Ja’Marr chase with a landing cross that tied the sport at 20 and all it could take was an Evan McPherson PAT however the try was blocked. That despatched the sport into time beyond regulation.
Cincinnati had an opportunity to win the sport in OT however the usually dependable McPherson extremely missed a 29-yard chip shot. The Steelers would get that very same probability with simply 2:27 left within the time beyond regulation interval and Boswell who is also a clutch kicker simply barely missed the game-winner as his 55-yard try hit the upright on the sphere aim put up.
After the Steelers protection held the Bengals in verify, Trubisky who was not having a powerful debut outing for Pittsburgh lastly put a powerful stable drive collectively and drove the Steelers’ offense downfield beginning at his personal 20 and ending on Cincinnati’s 35-yard line the place Boswell nailed a 53-yard game-winner to stun the Bengals.
With the Baltimore Ravens and Bengals favored ending 1-2 within the AFC North, after one recreation the Steelers are sharing the highest spot with Baltimore and the Cleveland Browns each victories of their respective season openers. Subsequent up for Pittsburgh are the New England Patriots who is not going to current the caliber of group Pittsburgh has needed to face in previous conferences with the Pats who primarily have owned the Steelers.
As for Trubisky, with 16 video games left within the common season, the query now’s how lengthy can he stay a starter? In Cincinnati, the previous Bear and Payments quarterback threw 38 passes and accomplished simply 21 for under 194 yards whereas his QB score was a disappointing 78.2. On the constructive aspect, Trubisky didn’t throw an interception and was sacked simply as soon as. The offensive line was the largest concern on offense heading into the season however that unit held up slightly properly higher than anticipated. Nevertheless, Pittsburgh’s operating MUST enhance in the event that they plan on reaching the post-season or profitable extra video games. Within the season opener, it was Chase Claypool who had essentially the most speeding yards with 36 whereas starter Nmajee Harris was nursing a bum foot and will solely handle 23 yards on 10 carries.
Kenny Pickett will wait patiently within the wings however consider me, if Trubisky doesn’t begin padding his stats, Steelers Nation will begin calling for the rookie to change into the starter. There isn’t a doubt that sooner or later the previous College of Pittsburgh Panthers’ quarterback would be the subsequent franchise quarterback so long as he can present that the power is there to change into a full-time starter. One downside is that Mike Tomlin named Trubisky as a group captain so it could be tough to inform a captain he has to journey the bench.
The underside line right here is that the Steelers aren’t going to be pushovers and they look like coming into the 2022 season with a chip on their shoulder and a few severe perspective. They need to rival all three different groups within the division and because it has been the norm for years, push their opponents to the restrict.