Chargers, Steelers, & Patriots: Who Will Survive?

Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert
Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 4 - The Los Angeles Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New England Patriots are already fighting for their 2022 lives due to injuries and offensive ineptitude. These are their stories.

Los Angeles Chargers: The Fate of Justin Herbert

(Somewhere in Los Angeles, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert tries to make himself comfortable at an urgent care facility.)

JUSTIN HERBERT: Gosh, what a rough start to the season. I'm all banged up. Rashawn Slater is out for the year. Keenan Allen can't get healthy. We're 1-2. And I have no idea what they are pumping into this IV. Painkillers? Super soldier serum? My doctor had a Fisher-Price stethoscope, so that wasn't exactly reassuring.

Sigh. What's a Chargers quarterback to do?

PHILIP RIVERS: (Bursting through the door.) Don't despair young man!

HERBERT: Why, it's Chargers—and Colts, I guess—legend Philip Rivers! Did you come with an important life lesson for me?

RIVERS: Yes! Everything is going to be just fine. All you need to do is produce two highlights per game.

HERBERT: Two highlights per game? But I thought my job was to lead the Chargers to the Super Bowl!

RIVERS: Don't be silly. We're Chargers quarterbacks. We don't produce championships, just highlights, stats, and debates about how underappreciated we are.

DAN FOUTS: He's right.

HERBERT: Dan Fouts? When did you get here?

FOUTS: I have always been here. Don't you see? No one really pays any attention to the Chargers. We're always the late-afternoon regional "C" telecast, even when we are playing well. Do you really think most fans have any idea what actually happened in your 38-10 loss to the Jaguars in Week 3?

HERBERT: They must have followed the game: my touchdown pass to Jalen Guyton went viral!

RIVERS: Bingo. One admittedly remarkable play, which didn't represent the nature of the game at all. Your job is to produce fantasy points and be the quarterback everyone just assumes is awesome based on his sizzle reel.

HERBERT: That can't be true. I AM awesome. And so were you two!

JOHN HADL: I was pretty darn awesome too.

HERBERT: Ummm … Jim Hart?

HADL: Eh, close enough. I led my leagues in passing yards three times. Now, I am just some bold-faced type on Pro Football Reference and a few half-hearted Hall of Fame arguments.

RIVERS: That's my future too!

HERBERT: I reject all of this! Yes, I know I have had Twitter Teflon for my entire young career; my accomplishments are over-celebrated and my failures are just handwaved away, and that won't last forever. And maybe the 2022 Chargers season is already lost. But I am NOT doomed to live out my career as a stat-compiler and playoff also-ran. I WILL lead the Chargers to a Super Bowl!

FOUTS: C'mon, lad. Look at me. "Stat compiler and playoff also-ran" can be a recipe for immortality if you are truly great enough. And there are worse alternatives.

HERBERT: Name one.

FOUTS: You could end up a young superstar who gets worn down by early injuries, signs a big contract, discovers his team can't afford to surround him with talent as a result, battles heroically through the pain and incompetence for a few years, then discovers it's just not worth it.

ANDREW LUCK: (Poofing into existence.) Hey Justin. You got a minute?

HERBERT: Will someone please lock that door?

Pittsburgh Steelers: Why Mitch Trubisky Still Matters

Mitch Trubisky cannot throw over the middle of the field. That should not matter, because the Pittsburgh Steelers shouldn't matter. But it does matter.

Remember when Trubisky couldn't throw to his left? He's experiencing "meme drift," a narrative low-pressure system that floats all over the field based on sample sizes and recency bias.

Eventually, "Mitch Trubisky can't throw to the left" and "Mitch Trubisky can't throw to the middle" will merge into "Mitch Trubisky can't throw." There's a degree of truth to that, and many folks are already there. But really, he throws about as well as any bottom-quartile NFL starter or top backup. He just keeps finding himself starting for high-profile teams and flailing in the very public eye.

Much was made of Trubisky's passing chart in last Thursday night's 29-17 Steelers loss to the Cleveland Browns. Yes, Trubisky is barely attempting passes over the middle this year, let alone completing them. Per Sports Info Solutions, Trubisky is just 4-of-6 for 28 yards on passes over the middle of the field through three games. For comparison's sake Jordan Love completed three passes over the middle for 40 yards during his brief end-of-game Week 1 mop-up job.

Trubisky's over-the-middle statistics require a little bit of context, however. Trubisky has thrown a league-high-by-a-wide-margin 31 passes from outside the pocket this season. Kyler Murray is second with 25 passes from outside the pocket. But Trubisky has thrown 103 passes to Murray's 141. So Trubisky is outside the pocket on 30% of his attempts. No wonder he isn't throwing over the middle much. You don't want a quarterback on the run throwing to the middle of the field—although, terrifyingly, Trubisky still does so now and then.

Trubisky is out of the pocket a lot because a) his offensive line is made out of popsicle sticks; and b) Matt Canada's offense emphasizes rollout passing. Here are some Trubisky breakdowns, as always courtesy of Sports Info Solutions:

  • designed rollout right: 5-of-8, 37 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs
  • designed rollout left: 6-of-8, 35 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs
  • other outside of pocket: 10-of-16, 178 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs.

So Trubisky is ineffective when rolling right, when rolling left, and when standing in the pocket and throwing over the middle. Egads. Yet the Steelers offense is 16th in DVOA because:

  • their running game isn't bad;
  • as shown above, Trubisky has made some plays on the run;
  • have you watched the Colts, Saints, Bears, Panthers, and so forth?

That last bullet point brings us around to why all of this matters:

The Steelers remain a viable playoff team. The Steelers have a 21.7% chance of making the playoffs, according to our projection system. Those projections factor Mac Jones' injury into the Patriots' chances, as well as a small Chargers nerf for the Rashawn Slater injury. They also reflect the Steelers' schedule from Week 5 through Week 8 of—uh-oh—at Bills, Buccaneers, at Dolphins, at Eagles. Still, the Steelers host the Jets this week. If they can scratch out a win while the Patriots offense flatlines and the Chargers keep doing Chargers stuff, they can hover at the bottom of the wild-card pack until T.J. Watt returns.

It's an ugly scenario, and it's dependent on a semi-functional passing game.

Trubisky versus Canada versus joy. The Steelers offensive coordinator has enjoyed a relative reprieve from criticism this season; Trubisky is a much more entertaining punching bag. But Matt Canada is in his second season of producing more chicken-or-egg arguments about his offense's problems than points. That's not a great place for a coach with no NFL track record before 2020 to be.

Canada wants to build the Steelers out of rollout passes. That's a yellow flag, because rollout-heavy offenses are designed to make reads and throws easier for the quarterback, which in turn makes life easier for the defense by cutting the field in half. Rollout-intensive game plans are often a collegiate we're-outmatched tactic, not something a coach purpose-builds unless he works for the medical school in the power conference.

Rollouts also slow down the pass rush—the Steelers can roll away from top edge rushers or disrupt their angles by running towards them—so such tactics tend to limit sacks at the expense of big plays. Canada's system makes the Steelers offensive line look adequate but makes it hard to get all of the playmakers involved: Pat Freiermuth and Najee Harris often block or serve as decoys on rollouts, backup tight end Zach Gentry takes snaps away, from George Pickens, and so on.

It's hard to pin the rollout woes illustrated by the figures listed above on Trubisky: an undrafted rookie should be able to crack 4.5 yards per rollout attempt just by farting the ball to tight ends in the flat. If the Steelers can get even league-average production from their rollout game, they could enjoy a little offensive bump. And that bump, again, could be enough to make them a team that still matters.

One last thought on Canada: his game plans draw attention to themselves. If Trubisky took lots of seven-step drops and just got sacked or ejected the ball, he and the line would bear the brunt of the blame. Canada's system may not be NFL-worthy, but at least he's not doing the same old thing and hoping his quarterbacks bail him out.

The Kenny Pickett Factor. Of course, the Steelers do have one potential quick fix at their disposal. Everyone is clamoring for the debut of Kenny Pickett!

No, that's not quite true. Very few people are really clamoring for Pickett. Everyone is just clamoring for Other Quarterback. He could be Bailey Zappe, Taylor Heinicke, or Gardner Minshew. The crowd just wants some drama and a fresh face

Pickett, with his powerful Kirk Cousins is My Absolute Ceiling vibes, might be an immediate upgrade over Trubisky, but Mike Tomlin does not think so. Tomlin is not some job-preservation-obsessed ninny like Adam Gase or Matt Nagy. Tomlin has earned some benefit of the doubt that he has a better handle on Pickett's readiness than someone who watched highlights from a preseason game.

Also, take a look at that future schedule again: at Bills, Buccaneers, at Dolphins, at Eagles. That's a Murderer's Row for a rookie's reputation and confidence. Stopgaps such as Trubisky make their living shepherding teams through stretches like that.

If the Steelers are 3-6 or 2-7 at their bye, then perhaps it's Pickett time. But what if they are 4-5 with a win over the Jets plus one upset? What if the Chargers and Patriots have collapsed, and the Raiders and Bengals never quite pull themselves together? Well, maybe it's still Pickett time. But if Tomlin makes the hook and the Steelers go 3-6 or 2-7 with Pickett? Turning back to Trubisky then still won't help.

Trubisky will eventually complete some passes in the middle of the field. He'll probably get a few productive plays off rollouts, too. He will never be great. He will struggle on his best day to approach good. But with other quarterbacks and teams falling by the wayside, his mediocrity still matters.

New England Patriots: No Exit

(Meanwhile, in Foxborough…)

JOE JUDGE: Snoochie Boochies everyone. We have Sunday's game plan against the Green Bay Packers all drawn up. Right Silent Matt?

MATT PATRICIA: (Wearing a backwards baseball cap and a Bruins jersey.) (Nods.)

JUDGE: We're going to emphasize outside zone rushing. Also, we're installing a new West Coast offensive package this week, plus some Air Raid, and make sure you review all the quarterback sneaks I designed. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a wheelbarrow full of notes to deliver to the punt teams.

(J.J. and Silent Matt leave.)

MAC JONES: (Adjusting the wrap on his sprained knee.) Good luck, Brian. We've only really got about six plays, and the defense sees all of them coming a mile away.

BRIAN HOYER: Oh, don't worry about me. (Reaches behind a chair, blows dust off an old binder.)

JONES: OMG, is that last year's playbook?

HOYER: It's the 2019 edition. When Patricia ordered everything burned, I made sure to stash one where he was too lazy to look for it. Which was literally anywhere.

JONES: Can you run those plays?

HOYER: C'mon Mac. I can barely run on a treadmill. But this little baby is my ticket to freedom. Once folks see me flaring short passes to Damien Harris to avoid sacks, they'll figure out that I am calling my own plays. And then, presto! Instant Houston Texans offensive coordinator job!

JONES: Golly, I wish you were my offensive coordinator.

HOYER: In many ways, I already am. And everything will be just fine. You'll see. I know Coach Belichick. He's mortified by all of this. He'll call Nick Saban right after the College Football Playoff and beg to bring Bill O'Brien back. O'Brien's a wackadoodle, but he's not working out of a Barnes & Noble Football Strategy for Dummies guide like these two.

JONES: That's reassuring. But what if that doesn't happen?

HOYER: Well, I suppose you'll eventually sign a big contract, since you have already been anointed the heir apparent. But I'm afraid the organization no longer knows how to identify and obtain quality offensive talent. You'll battle heroically against injuries and incompetence for a few years, then discover it's just not worth it.

ANDREW LUCK: (Poofing into existence.) Hey Mac. Got a minute?

JONES: What, are you the Quarterback Grim Reaper now or something?

LUCK: Sure am. Let's make this brief, shall we? I'm playing golf this afternoon with Dak Prescott.

Comments

46 comments, Last at 01 Oct 2022, 8:36am

#1 by Harris // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:23am

Luck is the boogey man that mothers warn little quarterbacks about when tucking them into bed.

Points: 0

#3 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:38am

I thought that was Deacon Jones?

You could always go the Jay Cutler route, and stop trying but remain in the league for extra paychecks.

Points: 0

#9 by Mike B. In Va // Sep 28, 2022 - 11:46am

...but then you have to marry an internet influencer/"reality" tv star.

Points: 0

#2 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:33am

John Hadl won a title with the Chargers!

\By keeping the bench warm for Tobin Rote

Points: 0

#4 by KnotMe // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:39am

The absolute best possible case for the Pats was they sneak into playoffs as a super low seed and actually force buffalo to punt once or twice while getting blown out. And that looked pretty unlikely BEFORE the Jones injury. Now...0 chance. This a team that needs to just stay down, and do whatever they can to get more actual talent and maybe be relevant again someday. 

That was alot of black hurmor.  Is Cam Newton the understudy reaper?

Points: 0

#5 by Raiderfan // Sep 28, 2022 - 11:01am

The correct is simple: D.  None of the above.

I am shocked Tanier did not find some way to mention Brady’s marriage.

Points: 0

#7 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 28, 2022 - 11:13am

You mention Brady more than he does 😂

He's gone back to Pickett slander here.

Points: 0

#6 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 28, 2022 - 11:12am

Unfortunately, regular season Trubisky tape is free of to watch and has been for half a decade. 

Points: 0

#10 by Mike B. In Va // Sep 28, 2022 - 11:47am

I proclaim that idea simultaneously offensive and not particularly effective at it.

Points: 0

#17 by KnotMe // Sep 28, 2022 - 1:17pm

It may be free but you get what you pay for

Points: 0

#11 by RickD // Sep 28, 2022 - 12:09pm

Yeah, he's an easy target, and I've done my share of bashing.  But it seems to me the Pats' defense is in worse shape than the offense.  Maybe that comes from playing the Dolphins and Ravens, but right now the defense is 21st in DVOA (24th in DAVE) and an execrable 29th in run defense DVOA at +12.0%.

The offense varies: the passing game is 22nd at -3.1 DVOA, but the running game is an impressive 24.5% DVOA, good for #1 in the NFL.  

It's clear the passing game needs work, and Mac Jones seems to miss Josh McD badly.  But so far most of the issues have not been scheme related so much as turnovers.  Mac's picks have been dreadful - but that feels transitional, not intrinsic to who he is. 

Surely the point is moot while he's injured - we know who Brian Hoyer is and he's a limited quantity.  I just feel like Matty P makes for a too-easy target.

Let's go back to making fun of Steve Belichick?  That's the guy I'm really worried about.  The defense had no answer for Mark Andrews on Sunday, and that's a trend that goes back to the losses to Buffalo last season.  They were OK on the deep ball, but crossing routes underneath kill them.

 

 

Points: 0

#14 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 28, 2022 - 12:54pm

You lost a SB to a backup QB who went for 400 yards and a receiving TD and he then went an eviscerated a franchise.

Fat Matt Pat is absolutely a problem.

Points: 0

#16 by Pat // Sep 28, 2022 - 1:06pm

I'm contractually obligated to constantly point out that the Patriots lost to an all time great Hall of Fame offensive line performance, not to Nick Foles specifically. When the QB is back there having tea and crumpets in a clean jersey and offensive linemen are blocking two guys at once, you don't give the credit to the QB.

The Patriots defenders weren't complaining on the sidelines about Foles droppin' dimes.

Points: 0

#19 by RickD // Sep 28, 2022 - 3:14pm

Hoping for something relevant to the current round of bashing.  A game five years ago when he was running the defense instead of the offense doesn't exactly seem relevant.

 

 

Points: 0

#21 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 28, 2022 - 4:03pm

I just found the SB (and the Pats' failed-state defense that year) funny. What he did to the Lions was a tragedy.

\at least Marinelli was a good coordinator.

Points: 0

#12 by IlluminatusUIUC // Sep 28, 2022 - 12:27pm

HERBERT: They must have followed the game: my touchdown pass to Jalen Guyton went viral!

There must be something strong in that IV, Herbs, because that is rather clearly not a touchdown pass.

Points: 0

#13 by theslothook // Sep 28, 2022 - 12:29pm

I mentioned before the start of this year that I thought the Chargers had one of the most talented rosters in football. My exact words were I love this Chargers team on paper.

I don't believe in curses but I've watched so many Chargers seasons get flushed down the toilet that I simply couldn't qualify it beyond, "on paper". Now with Herbert likely to play the entire year injured and Rashawn Slater out, Joe Bosa injured, JC Jackson coming off ankle surgery and on and on, you feel the season slipping away.

I guess when they moved to LA, the Rams dumped all of their injury voodoo onto their tenants.

Points: 0

#15 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 28, 2022 - 12:56pm

The one thing Kroenke let the Chargers bring with them from San Diego was their cursed indian burial ground.

As a Lions fan -- the Chargers are cursed. 

Points: 0

#18 by Romodini // Sep 28, 2022 - 1:53pm

       And I have no idea what they are pumping into this IV. Painkillers? Super soldier serum? 

Sorry, Justin, all the super soldier serum was used up on Brady. He, like Steve Rogers, started out as a flabby, unimpressive weakling and miraculously transformed into a chiseled he-man overnight. Come to think of it, both Rogers and Brady look much younger than they actually are, and both wear Patriotic attire. Is... Tom Brady the real life Captain America? And if so, why did it take him so long to stop working for Doctor Doom?

 

Points: 0

#20 by KnotMe // Sep 28, 2022 - 3:14pm

Rodgers kept some for his crazy cousin Aaron too. 

Points: 0

#22 by Romodini // Sep 28, 2022 - 4:23pm

Due to his newfound interest (and therefore mastery), of the occult and mysticism, Aaron would thank you kindly to please refer to him only as "Doctor Strange" from now on.

Points: 0

#24 by Paul R // Sep 28, 2022 - 6:36pm

No. Captain America has a long, successful career and then gets the girl and lives happily ever after. Tom's doing it backwards. 

Kyler Murray is totally Ant Man, though.

Points: 0

#29 by Romodini // Sep 28, 2022 - 9:46pm

My initial comp for Murray would have been Wolverine because he's small and feisty, but Ant Man is ten times more hilarious.

Points: 0

#30 by mehllageman56 // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:01pm

Steve isn't the only one that took the super soldier serum.  There's Bruce Banner, and then there's Bucky Barnes... brainwashed by HYDRA into killing (winning championships) for them, while still being alone and friendless in the world.

Points: 0

#39 by LionInAZ // Sep 30, 2022 - 1:59am

Aaron isn't following that script either. Looks like Spiderman, destined to never get the girl.

Points: 0

#23 by mehnsrea // Sep 28, 2022 - 6:24pm

When the Pats and Steelers matched up weeks ago I said both teams stink and we all need to move on. Tomlin knows his team stinks which is why he’s wasting a year with Mitch. Any year with Mitch or someone similar as your QB is nothing but a waste. If Pickett was any good at all, he’d be out there. Bill though is too arrogant to accept that his team stinks. But now he can use the Jones injury as a scapegoat when they finish 6-11 (even though Jones stinks too).

The problem with these teams is that they lack a sufficient number of highly skilled players at their positions, especially, but not limited to, QB. There is not one premier offensive playmaker on either team in a league of offense. I’m not sure why that’s not obvious to everyone. Maybe it is now, I don’t know.
 

There will be no playoffs for either. For NE in particular, there may be no playoffs (or no playoff wins at least) for a very long time. I don’t care where they are in DVOA. And I don’t want to hear how they’re 13th in offensive DVOA. Seattle (Seattle!) is 12th.

 

 

Points: 0

#28 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 28, 2022 - 8:41pm

I agree!

 If Pickett was any good at all, he’d be out there

Disagree there. I mean he is a rookie and probably isn't better than a 6 year veteran but they do apparently think he's better than a 5 year veteran (that knew the system!)

Tomlin seems like a very old school stubborn guy. Wouldn't be surprised his ego is getting in the way of giving Pickett a shot. I mean he just let washed Ben play 2 extra years instead of someone younger. Seems like he's just a big seniority guy ("he's older and been around longer, most be good!")

 There is not one premier offensive playmaker on either team in a league of offense.

I'm not sure what premier means but Diontae J was a PBer last year and a All Pro PR his rookie year. 

Points: 0

#36 by DGL // Sep 29, 2022 - 12:10pm

Would the Steelers win one or two more games this year with Pickett at QB instead of Trubisky?  Maybe.

Is Pickett "better" - more likely to win a game he needs to enter or start if Trubisky is hurt this season - than Rudolph?  Maybe.

But I don't think either of those things, or Tomlin being old school, stubborn, or ego-driven, explains the Steelers' QB depth chart this season.  I think they're taking the long view.

The O-line is very much a work in progress.  Putting Pickett behind that O-line this season has long-term risk, to his health and his development.  Trubisky is good enough and suited to the kind of game plan that can hide the deficiencies of the O-line and at least keep the team competitive.  Making Pickett the #2 gives him more useful practice reps.  While Pickett is the backup QB on gameday, it wouldn't surprise me to see Rudolph promoted over him to #1 if Trubisky were to be hurt and miss a full game.

I wouldn't say that success this year is of secondary importance, but I think that the Steelers' organization is one that judges success over multiple years, not a single season, and is willing to accept an incrementally worse result for one season to (in their view) increase the probability of long-term success.

Points: 0

#40 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 30, 2022 - 9:04am

Trubisky/Rudolph may only win 1 or 2 more games. They are more experienced after all. But in the long view that doesn't matter. 

Not to echo too much of Knot in 38 below but the OL is always a work in progress. Yet Burrow and Herbert survived. Because what if they can't fix it next year? Another year on the bench? Simply, the team is never ready. Was NE perfect for Mac his first week? Eh. 

If they let Rudolph jump ahead, they're truly just being silly. Hands on experience matters. And sitting on the bench and playing the same defense in practice everday can only do so much. They'd be wasting valuable data points on an expiring 5 year veteran they know has no future there (6 year vet for Trubisky). Need to soak up as much as they can about a potential franchise QB, so they can move on if needed. 

Also I'll ask everyone again. Give me a PBWR the Steelers need to hit for it to be good to go for a rookie. 66%? 11th/32? The avoidance of this question is telling I think. At the end of the day he turned 24 in early June and looked good in preseason. Mitch Trubisky and Rudolph have looked bad, yet again, in the regular season. We can move on (for entertainment purposes too!)

Points: 0

#41 by DGL // Sep 30, 2022 - 11:10am

... the OL is always a work in progress.  Yet Burrow and Herbert survived.

To quote Gust Avrakotos in Charlie Wilson's War, "And the Zen master says, 'We'll see.'"

Hands-on experience matters - but hands-on experience behind an OL that results in the QB getting injured, developing bad habits, or both, matters in a not good way.  Ask a generation of Jets QBs.

If the two possible motivations for the Steelers starting Trubisky instead of Pickett are either that they have a long-term plan taking into consideration the performance of the OL, the stability of the overall offense, and Pickett's development and maturation in practice; or else the coaches and front-office management are ego-driven and stubbornly resisting change because they think it'll make them look bad, I'm going to go with option A.  Your mileage may vary, based on your perception of the Steelers' management.

Points: 0

#42 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 30, 2022 - 12:18pm

Because I still see a lot of dancing. If their long term OL doesn't go well? Keep Pickett on the bench? We're a few weeks in and it seems fine. Playmakers ate there too. Ease in with a home game against the Jets? Sounds close enough to perfect to me. 

At this rate Matt Canada might not make it to next year then you're trying to implement a new OC and QB next year. Who knows who will be responsible for what. 

I'll give Tomlin some benefit in regards to scheme (and even retaining Matt Canada). But this is just wasting Picketts cheap contract while our eyes bleed watching mediocre Mitch...again. Pickett rookie mistakes>>>>>Trubisky rookie mistakes. 

Points: 0

#44 by Theo // Sep 30, 2022 - 2:25pm

They truly think Mitch is better than Kenny or Mason at the moment. 

But not good enough to call audibles, though. That might hurt Canadas feelings. Yes, thats real. They might get to it in the mini bye though. 

 

Points: 0

#45 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 30, 2022 - 7:41pm

Trubisky is leading his offense to 26th in epa/play. Firing coordinators is rare, probably for a good reason, so the only other alternative is to hand the reigns off. If they suck, well he's a rookie, understandable, count it as a building block. If they're good, well then great!

Trubisky has his 2nd highest Sack%+ (109) so the overall combo doesn't seem to be taking too many severe hits and Trubisky has 3 worse seasons (104 or less) so it's not likely him but the scheme. Send Pickett in!

Points: 0

#25 by jheidelberg // Sep 28, 2022 - 8:09pm

There's a degree of truth to that, and many folks are already there. But really, he throws about as well as any bottom-quartile NFL starter or top backup

Trubisky will eventually complete some passes in the middle of the field. He'll probably get a few productive plays off rollouts, too. He will never be great. He will struggle on his best day to approach good. But with other quarterbacks and teams falling by the wayside, his mediocrity still matters.

So he throws as well as any bottom-quartile NFL starter or top backup yet is mediocre?  I guess when you count 32 starters and 32 backups I can accept that of 64 quarterbacks, he will fall in the mediocre range. I have been using the word mediocre to describe Joe Flacco, Jimmy G. and Teddy Bridgewater.  Maybe I should define that I mean mediocre starting QB.

Points: 0

#27 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 28, 2022 - 8:30pm

The rest could very well be described as mediocre (also helps so the tail end ones don't come for your head when you call them outright bad). 

Points: 0

#31 by Theo // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:02pm

Ben Roethlisberger couldnt throw over the middle the last few years either. Its the design of the ㄩ-shaped offense. 

Furthermore, Canada doesnt allow his qb to call any audibles (yet). Why the head coah signs off in such a stupendous decision is baffling. 

Watching the Steelers offense is like watching xfl/usfl, really. It is like they play football from a long gone era.

 

Points: 0

#32 by jheidelberg // Sep 28, 2022 - 11:14pm

Yes, we all know that what you are saying is true, Ben was so washed, the current QB situation is shall we say not ideal.  The Steelers have this problem, that problem, etc., etc.  Yet they still win.  They made the playoffs last year.  Tomlin should just go directly to the Hall of Fame, his accomplishments with the recent version of the Steelers is as great as with his Super Bowl teams and championship.

Points: 0

#34 by jheidelberg // Sep 29, 2022 - 8:02am

Exactly, and I suggested to a fellow Ravens fan friend of mine who has not been to Pittsburgh that we go to the game in Pittsburgh in December, because it is always fun, the people are great and the tickets would be inexpensive as the Steelers fans would have lost interest by then.

He disputed the last point and rightfully so, somehow, someway the Steelers win.  If Tomlin keeps his streak alive with the combo of Trubisky and a rookie at QB, the man is truly Houdini.  Let me not forget that somehow, I expect a Mason Rudolph siting as well.

Points: 0

#43 by Theo // Sep 30, 2022 - 2:19pm

Tomlin got outcoached by the Browns special team coordinator when Stefanski had covid in the playoffs. 

When he didnt call time outs against the Raiders in 2018, I knew for sure. That man has no football IQ. 

But we will see. Is he truly Houdini or just an  illusionist?

 

Points: 0

#35 by Phil // Sep 29, 2022 - 9:03am

"Very few people are really clamoring for Pickett."

I can see few-to-no Steelers fans were consulted — plenty of us are already clamoring. Quite a clamor. Three games of starting Mitch is enough. And for that matter, there are just as many who think it's time to move on from Canada.

"Chicken-or-egg arguments" when it comes to Canada? That's spot-on, though. I'd just rather see the spring chicken.

Points: 0

#37 by coboney // Sep 29, 2022 - 12:48pm

I think his point was less that people are clamoring for Pickett specifically and more for "anyone who isn't Mitch Trubinski" more generally is what he's saying which at this point defaults to Pickett but is a different call from saying "I believe our team will be better by starting specifically Pickett even if we had another decent backup QB" (... no Mason Rudolph doesn't count)

Points: 0

#38 by KnotMe // Sep 29, 2022 - 5:16pm

People want Pickett bc

1)Trubinski is a dead end. 

2)There isn't a realistic way to get someone better than Trubinski. 

3)Their playoff hopes are pretty weak anyway. They needed some crazy stuff to go their way last year. Even if you think they have slightly improved, they are a WC out either way. Honestly, hoping the unknown is good may actually be the best shot, even if it's .01%

4)Might as well give the rookie XP.  There are plenty of QB who spot started their rookie year, were terrible and were fine. 

5)If it's an unknown, well, you never know. (Cooper Rush effect)

It depends on the QB and if you think they can handle the inevitable failure, 

Same reason NE should probably start Bailey Zappe.  It won't be any better, but you can only lose 1 game a week. 

Points: 0

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