First and foremost... YES... I realize this was just the first preseason game, and not much can be said for either defense on the field. Which is why I'm not going to talk about the defense. This game was not about the defense... the starters didn't play.
That's why all 5 take aways are on the offensive side of the ball.
1. Mitch Trubisky is the Steelers Starting QB
It's been 20 years since the Steelers have had to worry about a starting quarterback, so this game, in my mind, was the "set up" game for the rest of preseason. For all the talk out of Steelers camp on the quarterback situation, I think one thing was clear -- Mitch Trubisky is going to start the season. Trubisky only played a couple offensive series, going 4 for 7 with 63 yards and a TD. He looked sharp, decisive and ready to play... which is what you'd expect from a former #2 pick who's already had some success at the NFL level.
2. Mason Rudolph was... Mason Rudolph
Yes... the reports from camp were all about "Mason Rudolph could be the starter... blah blah blah,,," Click-bait, anyone? 9 of 15 for 93 yards and a TD isn't bad... the TD throw to Pickens was well placed, but I give that one to Pickens. Rudolph seemed to fall back to his old ways and throw into traffic a few times... which means interceptions in the regular season. Not terrible, but not a starter.
3. Kenny Pickett is the Real Deal
13 of 15 for 95 yards and 2 TDs, including a 2 point conversion. For the naysayers... Yes... he was playing against Seattle's scrubs. So wouldn't you expect him to excel? Not neccessarily. Pickett showed that he had command of his offense, found his check-downs and made decisions quickly. He's already shown that his decisive nature at the college level can translate to the NFL. He was also steady down the line when the Steelers needed a late score to win the game.
4. George Pickens Will Make an Impact This Year
Pickens has the hands and the footwork to make the big catches. 3 catches for 43 yards and a tippy-toed corner TD are just the beginning. Over the next few weeks, I'd like to see if he can get some separation for the big play, but over all it looks like this was a great pick, and he can be the WR1 the Steelers have desparately needed since the departure of Antonio Brown.
5. Jaylen Warren Could Make This Team
6 rushes for 34 yards and a 5.7 YPR average isn't exactly sparkling in the first game against a mostly 2nd team defense, but Warren showed a knack for finding his spots and avoiding defenders. Smaller in stature at 5'8" and 215 pounds, he still showed good power and especially heart. After a few years of mediocre RB2s... it's time the Steelers gave someone else a chance, and as of right now it looks like Warren could be a good 3rd down option to spell stud RB Najee Harris.
It's real early in this new Steelers journey... but I think they have a good problem at QB, a potential star at WR and some possible depth at RB. I'll save any observation on the offensive line for later in the season... it's really difficult to see if there will be any improvement until we hit the regular season. #HEREWEGO
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