By Jeremy Hritz
Man, it seems like the last time the Steelers played was forever ago, doesn’t it?
Last Thursday, the Steelers dropped their second game of the year against the Cleveland Browns, 29-17, in an absolutely abysmal performance that left Steelers Nation pessimistic about what the remainder of the season had in store. With the Jets on the horizon this Sunday, the Steelers are in a position where they must rebound, as they are on the precipice of beginning the most challenging segment of their schedule. Lose to the Jets, and the outlook becomes even murkier. Win, provide some hope for what is ahead. These thoughts and more in my Steelers Study Notes for Tuesday, September 27, 2022.
- The Steelers have a brutal schedule ahead following the Jets game: @ Bills, vs. Buccaneers, @ Dolphins, @ Eagles. If they don’t beat the Jets and generate some confidence, it could be the trail of tears over that 4-game stretch which is intimidating to say the least.
- Mitch Trubisky is what he is as the Steelers quarterback: a game manager who requires an effective running game in order to succeed. Sure, he may be capable of the occasional 300+ yard game, but he is no better than he was in Chicago. So what does that mean for Kenny Pickett? I’ve been adamant all along that if things didn’t work out after 5 or 6 games, Pickett would get his shot. Circle the Tampa Bay game on your calendars for Pickett’s debut.
- As I sit here on this Tuesday, I recollect the success the Steelers offense had with the hurry up offense. Remember that? Why not make that a staple of what this team does moving forward? Do what works.
- Your NFL sack leader after 3 weeks? It’s a Steeler, but it’s not TJ Watt. Alex Highsmith currently leads the league with 4.5 sacks. A nice start of the third year OLB who will benefit from Watt’s return (vice versa).
- Speaking of TJ, how much does this team miss him?
- The Steelers have injuries to important players heading into this weekend’s games. Minkah Fitzpatrick is in concussion protocol, Ahkello Witherspoon is dealing with a hamstring, Kevin Dotson has an ankle, and Pressley Harvin is dealing with a hip. The Steelers need Fitzpatrick on Sunday, so hopefully encouraging news comes out as the week rolls on.
- Speaking of Harvin, as a result of his injury, former Steeler Jordan Berry has been signed to the practice squad. If Harvin can’t go, which it seems he will not be able to, Berry will be the guy.
- Montravius Adams is now listed as the starter at nose tackle on the depth chart over Tyson Alualu. Asked about this change, Mike Tomlin said it was simply because Adams was playing “better.”
- Can this Steelers team beat the Jets at home? Absolutely. Will they? That remains to be seen. But this much is certain, if they lose to the Jets, the tone of the season will sour, and survival will become the focus, and not making the playoffs. Especially with the stretch of games approaching.
- Can you imagine the boo birds this weekend if they lose? Yikes.
That is all for today! Make it a great one!