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Steelers QB Mitch Trubisky says his play must 'be better' this Saturday vs. Colts

The 7-6 Pittsburgh Steelers' playoff hopes wane following back-to-back losses to two-win clubs at home. The hope of clipping the losing skid Saturday in Indianapolis sits on Mitch Trubisky's shoulders.

The quarterback struggled in his first 2023 start, a 21-18 loss Thursday against the New England Patriots. He went 22 of 35 passing for 190 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

"Slow start," Trubisky said of the issues versus New England, via the team's official website. "I've got to be better on third downs, got to execute better and just continue to get on the same page with these guys. (I) made some better plays in the second half, but it's got to be better this week."

Trubisky noted that having a full week as a starter should make a difference against Indy after the Steelers played on short rest in Week 14

"It should help for sure," Trubisky said. "We need the reps. I need the reps. It just allows me to continue to get comfortable on offense and continue to work on time with these guys and operating offense. So a full week of work is going to be helpful."

More practice time always helps, but let's not pretend Trubisky is a rookie with no experience. He's started 56 games in his career, including five in 2022 with Pittsburgh. He also played a large chunk of the Week 12 loss to Arizona. Practice reps matter, but a 29-year-old veteran backup QB gets paid mainly to help maintain the offense on short notice if the starter gets injured. If he can't perform that function, Mr. Biscuit will quickly wash out of the league's veteran backup rotation (a lucrative job if you can get it).

During last week's struggles, Steelers fans chanted for Mason Rudolph to replace Trubisky. Those calls quieted as Trubisky made some plays late. Alas, the good throws were too few and too far between, and the deep shot on fourth-and-2 was a head-scratching decision all around.

One thing Trubisky knows he can do better heading to Indy is getting George Pickens more involved.

"Give him the football, have open communication about what he's seeing as well," Trubisky said. "We can just continue to work on that timing."

Pickens leads the Steelers with 49 reception and 767 receiving yards in 2023 (three TDs), but since Week 8, he's earned just 3.1 catches per game, 38.1 receiving YPG, and one TD in seven games. In the Steelers' seven wins in 2023, Pickens generated 27 receptions and 541 receiving yards, good for 20.0 yards per catch. In Pittsburgh's six losses, Pickens has 22 catches for 226 yards for 10.3 YPC.

The Steelers take on the Colts on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 4:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network.

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