Charlotte – For the first time since signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers in March, Mitch Trubisky He started an NFL game as the starting quarterback and ended it with the victory formation.
With the rising midfielder Kenny Beckett Still in concussion protocol, Trubisky started his fifth game of the season Sunday at Bank of America Stadium and earned his first win in regulation as a Steeler by defeating the Carolina Panthers 24-16.
“The only thing I cared about today was winning, staying on the field, converting those third downs and helping this team win,” Trubisky said. “I know I can protect football – that’s what I did today. So I’m proud of all the other guys for sticking together, trusting me, and letting me lead us today and come away with a win.”
For Trubisky, the win was personally justified after losing his starting job as a first-round pick less than a month into the season.
Less than two months after Trubisky signed a two-year, $14.2 million deal with the Steelers (6-8) in free agency, the organization has drafted Pickett, already beloved in town as the Pitt quarterback for five years, as the franchise’s next quarterback after Penn retires. Roethlisberger. Although Trubisky was still the presumptive starter during the offseason and training camp, it was clear his tenure in Pittsburgh would not last long with the franchise heir waiting behind him and gaining ground with every practice.
With Pickett improving in the second half of the season, Trubisky’s future and path to earning a new NFL job is unlikely to come in Pittsburgh, but Sunday’s win is a resume — and confidence — boost, validating the self-belief that he has a place in this league.
“I know what I can do in this league,” said Trubisky. “It feels good to be able to have that opportunity and then it comes, my team-mates have faith in me, and then we had a plan and we executed it.
“It’s good when you win, anytime you start a game, anytime you’re part of a team, it’s always better when you win. I’m proud of these guys today.”
Mitch Trubisky found Deontay Johnson a few times on third down late, which led to the Steelers’ victory.
Trubisky and Backup Fellow Mason Rudolph The first-team reps were split all week in practice, but Trubisky officially got the nod on Saturday.
Although Rudolph’s hometown is only 30 miles from Charlotte, Trubisky, a UNC product, also saw some familiar faces on the sidelines before the game, including his former Tar Heel teammate and Steelers wide receiver. Ryan Switzer. Less than an hour before kickoff, Trubisky ran to greet Switzer, his wife Gabe, and their son, Christian Godson Trubisky.
Trubisky won his first start for the Steelers three months earlier, but the Steelers needed an extra field goal to get the win despite forcing five Bengals turnovers.
This time, Trubisky and his team didn’t need any overtime to crush the Panthers — a win that sealed the Steelers’ 4-0 victory over NFC South opponents this season. After throwing three interceptions a week earlier when Pickett took over in the first quarter, Trubisky had a clean and efficient outing, completing 17 of 22 attempts for 179 yards with no interceptions, along with a rushing touchdown.
Trubisky, 28, entered Sunday’s game looking for a balance between being aggressive and productive. excessive violent. in finding Pickens for a 38-yard touchdown and Deontay Johnson Several big completions, including an 18-yard gain, Trubisky moved the ball with intermediate break plays without costing offense points.
Trubisky was especially effective on third down, completing 6 of 8 attempts for 94 yards on that touchdown, and all 6 of his completions went on first downs. As a team, the Steelers were 12-of-16 in third downs—the highest conversion rate since Week 5 of 2018. Trubisky connected twice with Johnson on third and long during a career-scoring 21-play career that took 11 minutes, 43 seconds to open the third quarter. The drive, in which Trubisky went 6 of 7 for 54 yards and capped off with a 1-yard rushing touchdown, was the longest the Steelers had played in both time and number of plays in the past 45 years.
“I feel like he did a good job controlling the ball and making the correct reading,” Johnson said. “Whenever we ran the ball, the blocking did well up front. Everyone did their job as one.”
George Pickens pushes past the defender for the impressive catch, and puts up a short run for Gaylene Warren.
The running game went a long way in helping Trubisky; Gained 156 yards and accounted for all touchdowns.
“I thought he ran it really well,” said coach Mike Tomlin. “I thought he kept the ball off the ground and played clean. He had a high completion percentage, but it’s easier to do those things when you’re playing behind an effective running game.”
Nagy Harris He bounced back from a quiet week in a loss against the Ravens to gain 86 yards on 24 carries and score a touchdown – slamming the last Panthers defender between himself and the end zone to score the first points of the day. to support Jaylen Warren He also reached the end zone, scoring his first career touchdown in the second quarter.
“We wanted to keep it as simple as possible,” said Harris. “We believed in our line. We know how good they are, so we felt confident we were controlling the clock by running the ball in and helping Mitch or whoever was in the game.
“Mitch did a good job, though. We’re confident with everyone in the game. I think Mitch did a great job today, converting downs three, and he throws the ball really well, man. He’s used to putting it in tight windows.” Hats off to Mitch.”