Earlier this week, we polled fans on several questions about their confidence in the team and Mitch Trubisky ahead of Week 15, whether or not they think the Steelers make the playoffs, and whether or not they expect a win over the Colts. Here’s what they had to say.
For the third time this season, fewer than 7% of Steelers fans say they’re confident in the team’s direction.
94% of Steelers fans say they are not confident the team is headed in the right direction. Boy, how quickly things can turn!
Just two weeks ago, following their magical 400-yard outing/win over the Cincinnati Bengals, 79% of fans said they were confident in the team’s direction — the highest it’s been all year. If this team skids for a third consecutive week, expect this percentage to hit a new low on the season.
The previous low was back after Week 4’s loss to the Texans, where the Steelers were held to just six total points while giving up 30 to Houston. At least, as it turns out, the Houston Texans are a pretty good team; that loss may not as been as big an indictment on the Steelers as originally thought.
Most Steelers fans expect to miss the playoffs.
Just 19% of Steelers voted that they expect to make the playoffs in the 2023 NFL season, which is pretty astounding considering they’d sit as a wild-card team if the season ended today.
Ahead of Week 15, the New York Times NFL Playoff Simulator grades the Steelers with a 25% chance to make the playoffs, which would jump to 45% with a win this week over the Colts. ESPN, meanwhile, grades them with a 32.1% chance to make the postseason, meaning the Steelers fanbase officially has less faith in this team than AI simulators — a sad day, indeed.
Most fans are ‘not at all confident’ that Mitch Trubisky is the Steelers’ best option at QB.
Let’s be clear; Mitch Trubisky looked rusty in his first start of the 2023 season — really rusty. But still, for 81% of fans to come out and say they’re not at all confident that Trubisky is the best option for the Steelers' backup quarterback seems surprising. Though he made plenty of questionable throws (and questionable might be putting it kindly), Trubisky appeared to get in rhythm as the game went on and seemed to settle in his shoes a bit.
I’m not expecting monumental improvement from Trubisky in Week 15, but it does seem reasonable to expect that with nine days of rest, more reps of practice with the starting offense and time for the coaching staff to game plan, things might not look so bad this week against the Colts.
As a reminder, the Steelers had just three full days after Kenny Pickett’s ankle injury before kicking off against the Patriots on Thursday Night Football. Over those three days, the Steelers didn’t practice much, likely looking to rest up on a short week.
On Monday, the team didn’t hold a practice. Tuesday, they held a walk-thru. Wednesday, they held a practice. So... it was just a single formal practice for Trubisky before taking the reins, by my estimation.
While backup quarterbacks, by their very nature, need to be ready to play at all times, it’s reasonable to expect the connection they have with the receiving corps could take some time to develop. The nuances of timing and vibes between one quarterback and his receivers versus another take some time to discern. With more reps, some of those kinks might be worked out.
... but yeah. Mitch Trubisky probably isn’t the answer. How long until Mason Rudolph makes his first appearance? Over/under 2.5 quarters?
Just 3% of Steelers fans think they pull out a convincing win over the Colts in Week 15.
63% of fans expect a loss for the Steelers in Week 15, which is incredibly pretty closely representative of the general public as 65% of bets on the moneyline for this game at DraftKings Sportsbook have come in on the Colts.
Interestingly, though just 26% of point spread bets for Steelers-Colts have come in on the Steelers +1, 43% of the handle (AKA total money bet) on the point spread has come in backing the Steelers. Maybe some sharp bettor out there has some faith, even if the fans clearly don’t.