Awin is a win. But when it came down to it, the Pittsburgh Steelers offense left much to be desired in Week 1’s Sept. 11 matchup versus the Cincinnati Bengals.
In his first regular-season game in a Steelers uniform, Mitch Trubisky completed 21 of 38 passes for 194 yards and one touchdown. The rhythm-less offense struggled to capitalize on turnovers, scoring just 10 points off of four of the five defensive turnovers.
Trubisky shared his disappointment in not achieving every quarterback’s ultimate goal of finding the endzone. It’s especially frustrating when Pittsburgh’s defense offered them opportunity after opportunity to get there.
“I want to score points. I want this offense to score points and be aggressive,” Trubisky told Steelers media on Sept. 14. “When our defense gets turnovers, we need to turn those into points. That’s my mindset, and that’s what we’re thinking about when we get the ball taken away. We’ve got to turn it into touchdowns, not just field goals.
“We’ve got to have that killer mindset and aggressive mentality to really take teams out of the game and not allow them to keep it close. I was proud of the way we took care of the football, but you’ve got to have that aggressive mentality to score points. It’s not just the calls, it’s got
to be everybody on the field. It’s got to be a player’s mindset.”
Steelers Can’t Find Rhythm on Offense
It’s hard to get a rhythm going when you can’t convert on third down, and at 4-for-15, the Pittsburgh Steelers were woeful in that category.
“We won the game, but there’s a lot we can improve on, specifically third down and just overall execution,” Trubisky said. “I liked the calls that we were getting, we’ve just got to go out and execute them more to stay on the field and keep our defense off the field. So, we’re looking to be better on third down this week.”
As for why the Steelers struggled to sustain drives, it goes back to execution for Trubisky.
“I think timing from my perspective can be better, either getting it a little sooner or waiting for the plays to develop a little more, a lot of guys need to be in the right spot at the right time. But overall, we just need to execute and make the plays.”
We’re seeing a renovated offense with new pieces at key positions, and everything will not be perfect from the word go.
“I think it might just be that first-game stuff, continuing to build chemistry with the wideouts and receivers and getting on the same page,” said Trubisky.
Plays can be hammered at practice, but nothing replicates game speed like the real thing.
“It’s different when you’re practicing it in practice, and you go to the game, and everything’s a little bit faster, and you’re going against a defense that’s either playing you a little differently or pressing a receiver differently. So, you just get those different looks. We’ll continue to get that timing down and work that timing in practice.
Overall, Trubisky wants the offense to take chances and be less conservative. That’ll come as the unit settles in. Until Week 1, Trubisky hadn’t played regular season football since 2020.
Healthy Steelers for Patriots Game
Mitch Trubisky will have a full arsenal at his disposal to execute what he’s pushing for. The obvious in T.J. Watt aside, Pittsburgh’s injury report was clean, and everyone is playing in Sunday’s home opener. Ah, the luxury of Week 2.
The main concern for the Steelers heading into the Sept. 18 home opener was the availability of Najee Harris. Ground yards are hard enough to come by with a healthy Harris, who managed just 23 yards and 10 carries. The running back sustained a foot injury late in regulation under a pile of Bengals — where he found himself most of the game. It’s his second foot injury since training camp and his sixth ankle/foot injury in four years, per Draft Sharks.
The theme of the Steelers’ offense over the past couple of seasons has been poor line play, especially as a run-blocking unit. In 2020, Pittsburgh’s ground game was dead-last (84.4 yards per game), with a slight uptick of 93.1 in 2021.
There are still 16 weeks of football left and plenty of time for the Pittsburgh Steelers offense to turn things around.