The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 season hasn’t gotten off to a great start. They managed to pull off a surprising upset victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1, but looked largely lifeless over their next two contests against the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns. A big reason for those losses was the performance of their new quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
Trubisky beat out Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph this offseason for the Steelers starting quarterback job in their first season in the post-Ben Roethlisberger era. Yet through three games, Trubisky hasn’t done enough to win Pittsburgh games. It’s early in the season, but it’s clear the Steelers and their fans are becoming restless with Trubisky’s inconsistent outings.
Week 4 feels like a big game for Trubisky and the Steelers. They have a somewhat favorable matchup against the New York Jets, and it will be interesting to see how Trubisky handles this outing after three lackluster showings to start the season. Let’s take a look at three bold predictions for Trubisky in this game and see whether he should be expected to lead Pittsburgh to a victory in Week 4.
3. Mitchell Trubisky will fire two interceptions in the first half
Trubisky hasn’t made many mistakes under center for the Steelers this season, despite his struggles. He only has three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) through three games, but he’s also only committed one turnover, which was an interception against the Patriots. It’s really been Trubisky’s inability to push the ball downfield that has led to the Steelers offensive struggles.
Early on against the Jets, Trubisky’s fortunes will change for the worse. After a three-and-out on his first drive, Trubisky will begin to get into a bit of a rhythm, and the Steelers will march down the field. On a third-and-six inside the red zone, Trubisky will try to force the ball to Diontae Johnson in the end zone, but Sauce Gardner plays it perfectly and records his first career interception.
The Steelers won’t have a drive nearly as good as that one throughout the rest of the first half, and Trubisky will be picked off again, this time by Lamarcus Joyner, on a deep shot for Pat Freiermuth. It will not be the start Trubisky was looking for amid calls for Pickett to take over under center, and they will head into the half down 17-0 against New York.
2. Mitchell Trubisky will turn things around in the second half with two touchdowns
The Steelers will emerge from halftime knowing that they will need to score on their first possession of the half if they want to stay in this game. Trubisky doesn’t have a great drive, and misses a wide open Chase Claypool for a would-be touchdown, but gets in range for Chris Boswell to kick a field goal and put the Steelers on the board.
The points do Trubisky good because his next two drives result in touchdowns. He finds Johnson in the end zone on a brilliant throw and catch in the back left corner on a third-and-goal on the ensuing drive, making the score 17-10. After a slow start, the Steelers defense begins to get some pressure on Zach Wilson in his first game of the season, and Pittsburgh suddenly has momentum.
Trubisky looks in control on the next drive, and converts on a shot to Pickens on the outside against the undersized Michael Carter II for a 27-yard score. With that, the game is tied, setting up a chaotic final few minutes that could determine Trubisky’s future with the Steelers this season.
1. Mitchell Trubisky leads a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter to give the Steelers a 24-20 victory
Everything will be going Pittsburgh’s way after that score, but Wilson will snap out of his funk when he connects with Elijah Moore for a 13-yard gain on third-and-ten on the first series of the next drive. Wilson will methodically drive the Jets down the field, and they get Greg Zuerlein in range for a potential game-winning field goal just before the two-minute warning.
Armed with two timeouts and the two-minute warning, Trubisky will get the ball back with 2:13 left in the fourth and a chance to force overtime, or even better, win the game for Pittsburgh. Trubisky will convert a big throw himself on third-and-eight to Freiermuth on the last play before the two-minute warning, putting the Steelers in business.
Trubisky will stay rely on underneath routes for most of the drive, but finds Johnson for a 31-yard bomb on a crosser in which Gardner gets caught in traffic along the way. Trubisky will work the offense down to the two-yard line, where Najee Harris will power it in for the game-winning touchdown with just under 20 seconds left in the game. It won’t be Trubisky’s greatest outing, but the comeback win will inspire some confidence in him moving into Week 5.