Browns edge Steelers 29-17, Mike Tomlin stays firm with Mitch Trubisky
September 23, 2022
Thursday Night Football this week marked a grim day for the Pittsburgh Steelers following their 29-17 defeat to Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Steelers were less aggressive in taking on the Browns and fans were not pleased with head coach Mike Tomlin and starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
Pittsburgh kicked off the first leg of the matchup strong. Despite trailing seven points behind Cleveland in the first quarter, the Steelers redeemed themselves in the second quarter with 14 points, while the hosting team added six. Tomlin and his men led the game 14-13 until they were unable to withstand the Browns’ offense.
The Steelers went scoreless in the third, while the Browns made three. The blowout defeat took place in the fourth when Cleveland recorded a whopping 13 points and limited Pittsburgh to as low as three.
For the Browns, the win was a breath of fresh air following their recent 31-30 loss at home to the New York Jets. For Tomlin and offensive coordinator Matt Canada, the defeat led to countless reviews of the team’s limping offense, which was great early in the game but deteriorated quickly afterward.
Tomlin is now in a difficult situation as the team has now been defeated twice. The question of whether appointing Trubisky was the right decision as the starting QB loomed over Tomlin. However, the head coach seemed certain with his resolve and preferred his initial decision.
"I'm not in that mindset. I'm interested in reviewing his tape and looking at the totality of it and figuring how we collectively get better. So, the answer to that question is definitively no,” he said.
"I thought he made some plays but we all collectively came up short, and so that's how we measure performance -- winning is our business and we didn't handle business. So we don't break that apart and look for the feel-good."
Tomlin and Canada must find a way to get around strong defenses if they want to win more games with Trubisky. The Browns were smart to force Trubisky to throw from the middle. The remaining part of the job was left to its defense and the Steelers’ offense ended up being a disappointment.
Regardless, Trubisky showed great play in the first quarter and had higher passing stats compared to the previous game. On Thursday, the 28-year-old made 20 out of 32 pass attempts for 207 yards. On Sunday’s home defeat to the Patriots, Trubisky was only limited to 21 of 33 for 168 yards.
“We’re getting there, just not where it needs to be. We didn’t hit on the plays we needed to in the second half. Scoring three points in the second half isn’t going to do it for us,” Trubisky said.
Perhaps Tomlin’s decision to stay with Trubisky would eventually result in more wins. Besides, the former Buffalo Bills did not make any major mistakes in Cleveland. In addition to his passing stats, his mobility was commendable, avoiding Browns defensive end Myles Garrett to take over the first-half lead for Pittsburgh.
Trubisky’s effort was there, but it was not enough to take over the win from the Browns.