Mitch Trubisky isn’t the Steelers’ only problem as the loss of Browns sheds light on the flaws | News, scores, highlights, stats and rumors

Nick Cammett / Getty Images

Panic is not a word generally associated with the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are probably the most stable franchise in sports. They’ve had three coaches in about half a century. They have won six Super Bowls. And their current manager has never experienced a losing season.

But the level of anxiety on the banks of the Monongahela River is rising because Mike Tomlin’s period of non-losing seasons is in serious danger. After losing 29-17 to the Cleveland Browns led by Jacoby Brissett on Thursday night, Steel City talk radios will no doubt focus on the idea of ​​removing quarterback Mitch Trubisky and replacing him with first-round rookie Kenny Pickett.

But the reality is that Trubisky’s limitations aren’t the Steelers’ only problem. Or their biggest problem. This team has real problems on both sides of the ball and a change under the center will not solve them.

Earlier this week, as she appeared on Mike Tomlin’s show On the team’s YouTube channel, the Pittsburgh manager indicated that he was not considering major changes to the starting lineup, including the quarterback.

“I’m not even close to having such discussions, man,” Tomlin said, via Steelers Nation’s Bob Quinn. “I am more concerned about our collective growth and development and what we are putting together in terms of what we want to do to plan for victory. [Trubisky is] only one of its components “.

Tomlin’s patience was tested on Thursday night by a game that was in many ways a carbon copy of Pittsburgh’s second-week defeat to the New England Patriots.

The good news for the Steelers offense is that the team has set a season record in terms of yardage. The bad news is that the high of the season was 308 yards. Pittsburgh entered action last Thursday in AFC in total attack, and this week’s total won’t help that rankings much.

Does Trubisky have his share of responsibility for another lackluster offensive effort? Safe. His numbers on Thursday were a testament to mediocrity: 20 completions in 32 attempts for 207 yards and a passing score of 81.1. Once again, Trubisky flatly refused to attack the center of the field.

This is not new. It has been a theme all season.

Marco Mosher @Marcus_Mosher

Here are Steelers QB Mitchell Trubisky’s passing rankings through week 2 via the NFL’s Next Generation Stats:

But to blame Trubisky solely for this offense’s inability to average 300 yards of attack three weeks after the start of the season is unfair. There is a lot of guilt to go around.

Pittsburgh entered Week 3 with the NFL’s seventh worst ground game, averaging 83 yards per game. That number will increase slightly after the Steelers amassed 104 yards on 22 carries, but their play on the ground looked pathetic compared to Cleveland’s.

Lead back Najee Harris has yet to get into any kind of groove this season and week 3 was no exception. He only earned 3.7 yards per bag on his 15 bags, and this was actually his best he average of the season. Earlier in the week, he averaged less than three yards a pop.

Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

This is not good, folks.

Of course, the struggles of Trubisky and Harris can be traced to another problem. The Steelers have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. In his most recent offensive line rankings, Pro Football Focus’s Sam Monson ranked the Pittsburgh front 28th in the championship.

Yes, that line allowed only one firing against the Browns. But the aforementioned layoff came with a critical third down in the second half and the Pittsburgh front was once again unable to open holes for the running game.

In order not to think he will be spared, offensive coordinator Matt Canada also deserves the blame. in the middle of relationships
that some in the organization are becoming frustrated with OC’s second year, Canada’s gambling lure has dropped once again. When Canada found something that actually done work (using time in the first half), completely disappeared after the intermission, and Pittsburgh’s momentum faded with it.

But wait! There’s more!

For decades, the Steelers have been a team associated with formidable and formidable defenses. But just like their ability to move the ball consistently, that is now gone too.

Photo by AP / David Richard

Last year, the Steelers fielded the worst defense in the NFL, conceding 146.1 yards per game. This year, that number has “improved” through two games, to 22nd in the league with 128.5 yards per game.

After facing the Browns, that number is headed in the wrong direction. Nick Chub, Kareem Hunt and the Browns slashed the Steelers 171 yards to the ground. Sure, the Browns have a tendency to do that, but Week 3 was a repeat of Week 2 against the Pats – a weary Steelers defense that was successfully repeated again and again in the second half.

Defending the pass is also generating losses. Last week it was Nelson Agholor who published a 6/110/1 statistical line. Both wide receiver Amari Cooper (7/101/1) and tight end David Njoku (9/89/1) both played great games on Thursday.

Nobody will confuse Mac Jones and Jacoby Brissett with Joe Montana and Tom Brady. But both were successful against the Steelers. With rusher TJ Watt sidelined due to a torn pectoral muscles, Pittsburgh is generating almost no rush pass.

Next Generation Statistics @NextGenStats

Jacoby Brissett was pressured for just 4 of 33 dropbacks in the Browns’ 29-17 win over the Steelers, his lowest pressure rate (12.1%) in a game of his career.

🔸 2017-2021: 35.0% (2nd highest place in the NFL)
🔸 2022: 19.8% (9th lowest place in the NFL) #PITvsCLE | #Browns

That lack of pressure is exposing an average group of cornerbacks. And Pittsburgh is slowly, methodically dismantled.

The Steelers are losing the battle for the third down, converting to a significantly lower percentage than their opponent in the past two weeks. They are also losing the possession time battle for nearly 20 minutes in their last two games.

They are not played in one aspect of the game. Losing in one position. It is everywhere. On both sides of the ball.

It didn’t take long for Tomlin to make it clear that no big changes were coming for week 4.

That won’t make fans happy, but it’s by no means unexpected. Tomlin is not the type of coach who makes instinctive changes. The Steelers aren’t that kind of team.

Or maybe he realizes that dragging Trubisky or firing Canada, at some level, would simply mean rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Maybe he knows that Pittsburgh’s problems go beyond Trubisky. And Canada. And the offense.

Maybe he knows these Steelers are an imperfect team and those flaws are uncovered.

And maybe he knows that streak of unbeaten seasons is probably a toast.

Leave a Comment