Pickett or Trubisky?

John Kenworthy, Staff Writer

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been off to a somewhat rough start, going 2-4 in the first six games.

Pittsburgh won in week 1, defeating the defending AFC Champions in the Cincinnati Bengals. However, in that game the Steelers suffered a crushing blow losing star outside linebacker TJ Watt to a torn pec which will keep him out for at least 4 weeks.

Now, the Steelers defense has remained strong, with the exception of a miserable week in Buffalo. The issue is the underperforming offense. However, they have playmakers on that side of the ball in running back Najee Harris and wide receiver Dionte Johnson, occupied by a competent offensive line.

The glaring issue seems to be quarterback. During the offseason, the Steelers added two quarterbacks. They signed veteran Mitchell Trubisky in free agency to a 2 year $14 million dollar contract and drafted Kenny Pickett in the first round with the 20th overall pick.

Trubisky won the starting job in training camp and was given the starting job in the first 4 weeks of the season. Trubisky’s play was very mediocre over the first 4 weeks throwing just 2 touchdowns to 1 interception. On Sunday October 2, Trubisky and the Steelers played the New York Jets at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers did not have a first half to write home about, as they went into halftime losing 10-6 with Trubisky throwing for 84 yards with an interception and only completing 53% of his passes.

Head Coach Mike Tomlin was fed up with the poor performance and benched Trubisky and put in the rookie Kenny Pickett to start the second half. Pickett, in his NFL debut completed 77% of his passes, threw for 120 yards, with 2 rushing touchdowns. However, Pickett threw 3 interceptions in the loss to the Jets.

The next week in Buffalo, Pickett was 34/52 for 327 yards…the offense scored 3 points in that game, taking a thumping from the Bills, 38-3.

This past Sunday, with the Steelers hosting the Tom Brady led Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pickett was knocked out of the game in the third quarter with a concussion. Who came in to save the day? You guessed it: Mitch Trubisky. Trubisky, with an incredible fourth quarter, led the Steelers to a win over the Bucs, 20-18.

Once again, Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin has a decision to make. If Pickett clears concussion protocol and is cleared to play next Sunday night in Miami, should he start? Or should Trubisky get the nod, because of his strong showing against the Bucs?

I guess time will tell…