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With A Kicker Like Boswell In A Low-Scoring Game, Trubisky Knows He Needs To Be Smarter With The Ball

Heading into Sunday’s latest edition of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens rivalry, the general consensus — per usual — was that points were going to be at a premium.

More often than not, that’s how this game transpires, coming down to the final possession.

Knowing that, it was pretty frustrating to see backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky come off the bench for the injured Kenny Pickett in the first quarter and proceed to throw an interception in the red zone, an interception on the fringe of the red zone, a killer interception on an ill-advised deep ball to Diontae Johnson in the midst of a strong Steelers’ drive, and then to watch a Chris Boswell field goal get blocked up the gut.

Though there are more reasons the Steelers lost this game than just Trubisky’s turnovers, they happened to be rather back-breaking in the end in a two-point loss to the rival Ravens, all but ending any playoff hopes for the Steelers, who had climbed out of a hole in the first half of the season.

Speaking with reporters after the loss to the Ravens, Trubisky acknowledged that he needs to be smarter with the football, especially in a game that will be low-scoring while knowing he has a great kicker on his sideline in Boswell that puts up points in bunches. Though he wanted to be aggressive coming off the bench in relief of Pickett, he added that there’s give and take and that he needs to be better and just taking what’s there at times, rather than trying to force plays that lead to mistakes like they did Sunday.

“There’s give and take. There’s definitely a happy medium you need to find. I think when you have a great kicker like Boz and it’s a low scoring game, you just gotta be smarter with the football and then a field goal keeps us in the game or helps us win it,” Trubisky stated to reporters following the loss, according to video via the Steelers official YouTube page. “So, you just gotta feel that. And obviously I want those throws back, but you want to stay aggressive at the same time we are moving the ball. Part of that was helping with that aggressive mindset. But, I gotta take care of the football bottom line.”

Some of those comments are a bit startling coming from a veteran quarterback with more than 50 career starts in the NFL.

While he came off the bench cold for the first time since Week 6 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was aggressive early on, making some big plays, he can’t just throw caution to the wind in a game of this magnitude. Once again, his eyes failed him in the middle of the field, which was killer for the Steelers offense.

Take away those two red zone and fringe red zone interceptions, let’s assume that’s two Boswell field goals there. That makes a major difference. Instead, it was a clear win for the Ravens defense in those situations, keeping points off the board, which ultimately was enough to win the game.

It’s fair to wonder if a healthy Pickett doesn’t turn the football over in those situations and the Steelers end up with points, but that’s a conversation for another day. Depending on Pickett’s availability moving forward, Trubisky has to be much, much better with his eyes in the middle of the field and learn to take the check down once he’s in scoring range, considering who his kicker is.

The aggressive mindset backfired on him in big spots on Sunday, and ultimately did in the Steelers in a must-win game.

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