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Steelers Analysis

The Steelers Offense Is So Bad, It Broke Mitch Trubisky. What Does That Mean for Kenny Pickett?



Steelers QB Mitch Trubsiky

INDIANAPOLIS — The Pittsburgh Steelers benched quarterback Mitch Trubisky for the second time in two years on Saturday, and it seems likely that he will not start again next week.

Trubisky signed to be the Steelers’ starter in 2022, failed in that role, re-signed to be the backup in 2023, and failed in that one, as well.

Trubisky has now played 12 games as the Steelers quarterback, and he has a 77.6 passer rating and a 4.87 adjusted net yards per attempt in those games. Statistically, that’s miserable.

When it comes to the evaluation of quarterbacks in the obvious mess that has been the Steelers offense under Matt Canada and his successors, the question must be asked: how much of the problem is the player under center, and how much of is it the scheme and the playcaller?

It’s clear that Trubisky has played worse than starter Kenny Pickett. But Trubisky also has a more-useful comparison when it comes to putting the struggles of the overall offense into context.

Trubisky started 51 games with the Chicago Bears from 2017-20. His offensive coordinators in that time were Dowell Loggains, Mark Helfrich and Bill Lazor in what was widely recognized as one of the messiest offenses in the NFL.

With the Bears, Trubisky had an 87.2 passer rating and a 5.64 adjusted net yards per game.

So the Steelers offense has made Trubisky significantly worse than he was even in those sloppy Chicago offenses. 

That highlights how absolutely necessary it is that the Steelers go outside the organization for their next offensive coordinator, but it also does give some hope for the future of Pickett.

Pickett has an 81.4 passer rating and a 5.29 adjusted net yards per attempt this season, which rank him in the bottom quarter of NFL starters. That’s below expectations for a second-year former first-round draft pick.

But if this offense caused Trubisky to lose 10 points of passer rating and .77 ANY/A, then it has certainly been holding Pickett back, as well. 

If a new coordinator can unlock Pickett to something approaching that amount, his play would be much more acceptable as a starter going forward.