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Steelers Offensive Woes: Is QB Mitch Trubisky Or OC Matt Canada To Blame After Rough Showing In Week 1?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Steelers Offensive Woes: Is QB Mitch Trubisky Or OC Matt Canada To Blame After Rough Showing In Week 1?

The Pittsburgh Steelers managed to score 23 points on Sunday afternoon in a crazy first game of the season as the team defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in an overtime thriller. The offense was only responsible for 16 of those points, however, as Minkah Fitzpatrick had a pick-6 early in the first quarter of the matchup. The offensive unit looked completely out of sync and while it was only the first game of the year with a ton of new personnel, offensive coordinator, Matt Canada‘s group looked unprepared. The team mustered up only 267 yards of total offense and were dominated in time of possession, 43:43 to 26:17.

Steelers Mitch Trubisky and Matt Canada

Steelers offensive coordinator, Matt Canada (left) and starting quarterback, Mitch Trubisky (right) on the field prior to a 2022 preseason matchup at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA. | Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO)

Steelers Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada Faces A Ton Of Pressure Entering His 2nd Season

Free agent signing and starting quarterback, Mitch Trubisky was far from perfect in his debut wearing the black and gold. He was 21/38 for 194 yards and a touchdown. Trubisky did make some great plays on the game-winning drive in overtime. He found Pat Freiermuth twice for 36 total yards which set up what would be the game-winning field goal by Chris Boswell.

A very stagnant offense on Sunday was reminiscent of a year ago when now-retired quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had limitations as to what he could do on the field. Sure, there were a couple of trick plays that worked because of a nice throw from Trubisky on a flea-flicker and Chase Claypool‘s speed, but everything else looked much of the same. That is not a Trubisky issue, but rather, a Canada one.

Steelers Chase Claypool

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, Chase Claypool warming up prior to a 2022 preseason matchup at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA. | Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO)

The main reason there were a couple of big gains was Trubisky’s ability to extend the play. The big 26-yard pass to Freiermuth in overtime looked like a dead play until the signal-caller ran around throughout the pocket and found his tight end over the middle of the field. Trubisky seemed to be escaping pressure and running around the entire game. The offensive line didn’t do him many favors, but the play-calling was questionable once again.

If the Steelers are going to make the playoffs in 2022, the offensive side of the ball needs to be more explosive. Now that T.J. Watt could be out for a majority of, or the entire season, Canada’s group needs to pick up the slack and it starts with him. This doesn’t land on Trubisky and the reason is because Canada has refused to utilize the rushing attack in his first two seasons in Pittsburgh.

Sure, Najee Harris rushed for 1,200 yards a year ago, but averaged a brutal 3.9 yards per carry. The offensive line will get better in run blocking if they are doing it consistently. Take what the Philadelphia Eagles did Sunday for example. Jalen Hurts threw the ball six less times than Trubisky, but had 49 more yards in the air than the Steelers’ quarterback. Pair that with Miles Sanders ability to run the ball and average 7.4 yards per carry and it’s a recipe for success.

Steelers Najee Harris

Steelers running back, Najee Harris (#22) on the field during 2022 training camp. | Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO)

Trubisky isn’t as feared running the ball as Hurts is, but opening up some running lanes to then use play-action, which has been nonexistent the past two years for Pittsburgh, could open up the offense significantly. The poor play offensively is way more on Canada than Trubisky. He needs to commit to the rushing attack. If not, teams will sit back like the Bengals did on Sunday and make it hard for a Steelers’ quarterback to find an open receiver.

Harris’ 10 rushes for 23 yards along with Jaylen Warren‘s three carries for seven yards will lead to a frustrating season for whoever is at quarterback. Getting Claypool involved in the run game was the only thing Canada did right Sunday afternoon.


Are you faulting Canada or Trubisky for the Week 1 offensive struggles? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Jeffrey L. Walker

    September 12, 2022 at 12:49 pm

    We all know it’s the OC’s mismanagement of the offense…but then it’s goes up to the head coach to allow it. If everyone sees where the problem is but the head coach chooses to ignore it…well it’s going to be a long depressing season.

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  3. Vincent

    September 13, 2022 at 10:47 am

    Clearly Canada’s issues. HOWEVER, Tomlin allows that mess so he should be held accountable as well!

  4. VegasDevil

    September 13, 2022 at 11:29 am

    When Kenny Pickett is playing, the don’t seem to have a problem.

  5. SteelersCA

    September 13, 2022 at 11:57 am

    Neither, it is an O line problem. Teams are stacking the box. Running game is reduced to gadget plays for big yardage. Mitch is running for his life and no matter how good a play call is, it is worthless if the line is a revolving door.

  6. Mary Long

    September 13, 2022 at 4:06 pm

    Canada’s issues and the O line. Seems as those the Steelers are not prepared! We need to get the running game going.

  7. Ant can

    September 13, 2022 at 4:07 pm

    You said it right it looks like the same offense with someone else running it. Everyone was saying now that Ben is gone they can open up the offense. well they didn’t open up ****. No true identity. No clear motive to be a running team or passing. Not sure if Canada even knows what he does best. Ben was blamed for canadas ineptness.

  8. Socal Steelerfan

    September 13, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    Long time reader, first time posting. It seems like Canada refuses to attack the middle of the field. More defenses just keep stacking the box which leaves the O-line outnumbered. Even with a better O-line I think it would be hard to run against. Just my humble opinion.

  9. Lou

    September 13, 2022 at 9:28 pm

    It’s clearly Canada’s issue, why he was retained is puzzling. They should promote the qb coach he was with the giants as an OC.with Eli.

    Canada needs to go period

  10. Brian

    September 13, 2022 at 10:10 pm

    This guy couldnt call a highschool gam let alone a pro team fire his *** and lets stop talking **** about the QB same resukts even when we had Big Ben so if it still happening then its the dip **** calling these dumb plays Final quote Fire this incompentent play caller and lets move on Game 2 will show you the same dumb *** calling a junior high play calling thank god I dont play for this idiot AKA john sladka jhs

  11. Katherine Golden

    September 14, 2022 at 3:25 am

    This is the same trubinsky we saw in Chicago. Missed throws. Holds the ball to Long. Doesn’t recognize when he has good match ups for pass plays. Hesitates then runs around . He is confused at the line of scrimmage and after 4 years still can’t read a pre snap defence

  12. Mark Schwenk

    September 14, 2022 at 7:39 am

    It’s not Trubinski,it’s Trubiski… and your analysis is way off… you’re just repeating what you’ve heard.

  13. Sullas

    September 14, 2022 at 8:53 am

    Chicago Mitch is Chicago Mitch. That’s not gonna change. Starting him is a charade. They need to see if Pickett in that guy so they know if they need to keep looking for a franchise QB or not. Mitch will not get them a superbowl so what’s the point of starting him over Pickett? It’s a waste of time.

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