With a stat line that included 21 of 38 pass completions for 194 yards and a touchdown, quarterback Mitch Trubisky certainly didn’t deserve any high praise following the Steelers' 23-20 overtime victory over the Bengals at Paycor Stadium on Sunday.
Throw in the now all-too-familiar-to-Steelers-fans 5.1 yards per pass attempt, the plethora of quick dropbacks followed by ineffective-to-worse sideline and back-shoulder passes, as well as an unwillingness to attack the middle of the field, and it’s easy to see how Trubisky would draw the ire of Steelers fans both far and wide.
But have we already seen enough of Trubisky? At least one Steelers fan thinks so, and he wasn’t shy about expressing that sentiment late in the third quarter of Sunday’s game:
“Yup I've seen enough of Mitch...” tweeted an anonymous Steelers fan whose name I will protect for fear of getting punched. “And all of you “Mitch-Truthers” have to.” (I will also protect his name for the improper use of "to.")
There it is. That didn’t take long, now, did it? I don’t know what a “Mitch-Truther is,” but if it’s a person who might actually be pulling for Trubisky and/or thinks he’s a good quarterback, well...let’s just say I miss the days when sports fans could like certain players without being called truthers, cult members, etc.
Anyway, the moral of the story is this: Trubisky can no longer hide behind Mason Rudolph and the blind rage Steelers fans had for him all throughout the offseason and the preseason.
It’s Trubisky’s turn in the barrel, as they say.
If Trubisky doesn’t improve his productivity and do so in a hurry, it won’t be long before fans are calling for Kenny Pickett, the 2022 first-round pick, to be the starting quarterback. In fact, they already are calling for Pickett to start. “How long of a leash do you give Trubisky?” was a question fans and talk show hosts were asking before the start of the regular season.
Imagine what they’re going to say now, as Pittsburgh prepares for the New England Patriots to come to town for a Week 2 matchup at Acrisure Stadium this Sunday?
You won’t have to imagine because it’s going to be a lot of pro-Pickett propaganda and anti-Trubisky vitriol.
But we should have expected this, right? This is life without a franchise quarterback. This is what happens when that guy finally retires after 18 years and leaves behind a void that can only be filled with another great quarterback or a great quarterback controversy.
It’s pretty obvious what is already filling the void in the absence of Ben Roethlisberger and his magical ways.
So how long should Trubisky’s leash really be? That’s a cute question to ask in the offseason when people are more likely to give logical responses.
But that leash gets a lot shorter once the regular season starts and the very first performance is below the line. As far as many Steelers fans are concerned, Mitch Trubisky doesn’t even deserve a leash after Sunday’s performance and should be forever banished to the dog house.
Welcome to the post-Big Ben era.