The Pittsburgh Steelers still have, arguably, the most crucial quarterback competition still going at this point in the preseason. Mitch Trubisky, Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph continue auditioning to be the team’s starter come Week 1 of the regular season. It won’t be a warm welcome either as the first game of the season as the Steelers take on the divisional rival Cincinnati Bengals.
In Week 2 of the preseason, the Steelers hit the road and traveled south to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Trubisky started this game, as he did last week, but the rookie Pickett came into the game second leaving Rudolph as third on this game’s depth chart. Rudolph played the entire second half and led a game winning drive to push the Steelers to 2-0 in the preseason so far.
Week 2 preseason reps, stats
Trubisky: 5-8 passing for 60 yards, one rush for 10 yards.
Pickett: 6-7 passing for 76 yards and a touchdown. He was credited with one rush for negative four yards.
Rudolph: 17-21 for 127 yards and a touchdown.
Who has the edge in the QB battle entering Week 3 of the 2022 NFL preseason?
This has been such an unpredictable battle in the preseason. Trubisky seemed like the automatic starter allowing Pickett to sit for a year and learn. This isn’t the expectation from a first round pick, but the Steelers could make it work this year. Pickett started camp off slowly and didn’t seem like he was adjusting. In the first preseason game, he led a game-winning drive to secure the victory. Mitch looked solid in both games, but Pickett took a step forward in the second week. He got to play against better defenses and found running back Benny Snell for an 11-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Rudolph started the third quarter coming out of halftime. He completed two passes for six yards, but the drive ended in a punt. On his second drive, Rudolph was called for intentional grounding in the endzone for a safety. He recovered, though, and ended up with over 100 yards passing. Rudolph led a game-winning drive as he found Tyler Snead for a one-yard touchdown with 1:56 left.
Next week is going to be the test. We don’t yet know how head coach Mike Tomlin will handle this situation. My guess is that Trubisky will get the game off, Pickett will play the first half, and Rudolph will play the second half in the hopes that each quarterback can stay healthy. This should give Pickett his best shot at a starting defense (minus some stars resting) and will give the clearest snapshot of what they have in the rookie heading into his first career season.