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Steelers Reacts Results: Fan confidence plummets, call for Mason Rudolph at QB

Steelers Nation spoke out! Here’s what they said.

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during the first half of a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on November 26, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are just hours away from Week 14 kickoff, set to open up the NFL game slate in primetime against the New England Patriots. After falling to 7-5 with a loss to the Cardinals, who entered the week at 2-10 with one of the worst defenses in the league, the Steelers and their fanbase are in desperate need of a spark of confidence.

Earlier this week, we polled fans about their confidence in the team, which quarterback they think gives the Steelers the greatest hope in the absence of Kenny Pickett and predictions for the Steelers’ final record in the 2023 regular season. Here’s what they had to say.

55% of fans say the Steelers were ill-prepared for Week 13.

Before we move forward, we must first look back and officially close the door on the Steelers’ Week 13 loss to the Cardinals. What will help fans achieve closure? Assigning blame, of course!

Despite losing quarterback Kenny Pickett, linebacker Elandon Roberts and left guard Isaac Seumalo all to various injuries through the game, just 11% of those polled blamed Week 13’s poor performance on injury. The majority of those polled (55%) voted that a lack of preparedness was to blame — a direct indictment on the coaching staff.

Based on the fact that two different players came out to say they probably took the Cardinals “too lightly” following their loss, that sounds about right. Yikes.

Fan confidence plummets ahead of Week 14.

Just last week, 79% of fans polled expressed confidence that the team was headed in the right direction, flying high after the firing of Matt Canada as offensive coordinator. Following Week 13’s loss, however, that number plummeted, with just 14% of fans stating they’re confident in the team’s direction.

Of course, that’s to be expected when half of your fanbase is pointing to a lack of preparedness (AKA, looking right at the head coach) for a loss or when it feels like he’s totally and completely content with lackluster production just so long as it amounts to a record at or above .500.

Most Steelers fans think Mason Rudolph would give Pittsburgh the best chance to make the playoffs.

HC Mike Tomlin immediately announced that backup Mitch Trubisky would get the start in place of Kenny Pickett once it was clear he would miss some time, citing the fact that Trubisky has had more opportunities than Rudolph for reps. That’s understandable, considering he’s worked as the third-string quarterback, primarily working with the practice squad.

Depending on how Trubisky’s performance shakes out in Week 14, however, there could be an opportunity to make a pivot — which own contributor, Mike Nicastro made his own compelling argument for Rudolph to get the start moving forward. He noted the similarities in overall production between Rudolph and Pickett (a problem in and of itself, but I digress). He shares, “In 17 total games, including 10 starts, Rudolph has thrown 16 TDs to 11 INTs. His QB rating is 80.9, and he went 5-4-1 in those games. In 25 games, including 24 of them which were starts, the now injured Pickett has thrown 13 TDs and 13 INTs.”

Most fans predict a 9-8 regular season record.

Currently sitting at 7-5, that means fans are projecting just two more wins rest of season. Brutal.

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