The Pittsburgh Steelers arguably played their best game of the season in their Week 6 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and they did so while playing with countless injuries to key starters on the defense. This victory was marked by an unlikely hero in quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. As such, Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports listed Trubisky as one of his “winners”, offering high praise for the first-year Steeler on Monday.
“After getting benched following a Week 4 loss,” Wilson said about Trubisky on a CBS Sports article. “Most people probably thought that would be the last they heard of Trubisky this year, but no! In a game against Tom Brady, Trubisky came in for an injured Kenny Pickett and looked more like Tom Brady than Tom Brady.”
The first two drives of the game were ideal for the Steelers, as they forced a three-and-out on defense and scored a touchdown on their first drive. This was their first opening drive touchdown since Week 10 of last season, as the team showcased an impressive opening script. Afterwards, quarterback Kenny Pickett and the offense struggled to get much going, only scoring two field goals in their next six drives, one of which was due to a favorable field position after a long kick return.
However, as Wilson mentions, Pickett suffered a concussion early in the third quarter, and was replaced by former starter Mitch Trubisky. The change in quarterback seemingly sparked the team’s offense, as Trubisky led them to a touchdown drive and went 5-6 on third down conversions. Two of these third downs came in the game-sealing drive, as Trubisky converted two third-and-longs to receiver Chase Claypool, who had his best game of the season.
While the defense and special teams did their jobs, this game may have turned out differently if not for Trubisky. The touchdown drive that Trubisky led wound up being the point difference, and his final drive prevented quarterback Tom Brady from an opportunity to march down the field for a potential game-winning field goal.
Trubisky’s second half performance was the best he looked all season. Arguably, this performance marked the best quarterback play the Steelers have had this season, and arguably dating back to last season. With Trubisky, this offense had its first play of over 40 yards this season on a Trubisky pass to rookie Connor Heyward, and converted an astounding four third and longs. As the team prepares to face the Miami Dolphins with him as the starter, they will need to capitalize on the offensive spark that he provided.
Wilson is right in pointing out that many had thought of that have seen the last of Trubisky on the Steelers. While this may wind up being an outlier game, the contrary is also possible. Trubisky indeed had a Brady-esque stat line and performance, and if he continues to play this well, there will be a future for him as a starting NFL quarterback.