Things didn’t go so well for Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky coming off the bench, at least if you go by results. While he played pretty well on most of his snaps, his three interceptions were extremely costly and took at least a shot at six points off the board, since two came well within comfortable field goal range. And they lost by two points, if you don’t remember.
It certainly wasn’t as compelling a showing as the last cameo from Trubisky coming in off the bench, during which he helped finish off a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and completed several critical 3rd and longs.
In a quarterback’s opinion, though, you might get a more rose-colored view of the interceptions than from most. Former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger weighed in and broke down each of his three interceptions, which you can read transcribed by me below from his Footbahlin podcast, accompanied with a clip of each:
The first interception was not Mitch’s fault. He was going to ‘Muth on the back side and it looked like the receiver on the front side either fell or just didn’t clear so the spacing was off, and so it was actually the other guy’s defender that was able to make that play. So you can’t blame Mitch for that one, it’s just an unfortunate situation.
The second interception appeared to be a single-high look…He decided to go down the middle for whatever reason, and there’s a WILL linebacker as kind of that free guy that doesn’t really have anybody, and so you have to know if you’re going down the middle in a single-high look you’ve got to understand that that guy back there could be cheating and robbing and cutting across.
Another one you’d hate to say it’s not his fault, but he’s got to know that guy’s coming. The guy made a great play on it, but still, that’s a little bit more on Mitch, unfortunately.
The third one, he’s throwing a go ball. He’s throwing a deep ball to Diontae, and he probably threw it more to the side than he wanted to, maybe a little deeper, Diontae got bumped a little bit. It was a lot of things involved. But you’re taking a shot down the field, actually got the ball on the one-yard line.
Now a quarterback’s perspective obviously has value when weighing in on a topic like this because he understands what the quarterback is supposed to be seeing in these situations, and what the expectations are. Realistically, they know best whether or not they did something they weren’t supposed to do or vice versa.
Obviously, Trubisky did some things he shouldn’t have done and didn’t do some other things he should have, but there are usually some mitigating factors involved when you’re dealing with this quantity of turnovers. Yes, Steven Sims reportedly ran the wrong depth on his route. Trubisky said after the game that they jammed Freiermuth on the first one and slowed him up.
They are all ultimately passes that left Trubisky’s hand, however, and directly reached Ravens’ hands, and that’s on him. There were no ricochets, no slips, nothing really that he couldn’t have seen and adjusted to before the ball left his hands. He would be, and was, the first to admit that he needed to do better.