Chicago Sun-Times


Defense, not Trubisky, carried Steelers in OT victory vs. Bengals

- Sun-Times wires

See if this sounds familiar: Mitch Trubisky is coming off a game in which his defense did all the heavy lifting — creating five turnovers (including a pick-six) — leaving the quarterbac­k to admit he needs to be more aggressive.

Such is life in Pittsburgh, where Trubisky continues to search for tangible evidence that he’s a legit No. 1 QB in the NFL.

“When your defense is playing that well, and they’re getting turnovers, you just want to take care of the football, but we’ve got to have that killer mindset, that aggressive mentality to really take teams out of the game and just not allow them to keep it close,” Trubisky said. “We’ve got to turn it into touchdowns, not just field goals.”

The former Bear is singing a familiar refrain that is sure to test the patience of Steelers fans.

Trubisky went 21-for-38 for 194 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers’ 23-20 overtime victory against the Bengals and had the second-lowest yards per pass (5.1) of any quarterbac­k who played a full game in Week 1. His 9.2 yards per completion ranked 26th among Week 1 passers.

Trubisky connected on only 2 of 7 passes of more than 20 yards, and, according to Next Gen Stats, 10.5% of Trubisky’s passes traveled more than 20 yards in the air.

To increase accuracy on the deep balls and improve third-down outcomes — the Steelers were only 4-for-15 on third down — Trubisky cited a necessary improvemen­t in his timing.

“I think timing, from my perspectiv­e, can be better — either getting it out a little sooner or waiting for the plays to develop a little more,” he said. “But, overall, we just need to execute and make the plays.”

Trubisky sounds motivated to take more shots, beginning with the Steelers’ home opener this Sunday against the Patriots.

“I was proud of the way we took care of the football [in Cincinnati], but you gotta have that aggressive mentality to score points,” Trubisky said. “And it’s not just the calls. It’s gotta be everybody on the field. It’s gotta be a player’s mindset.”


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