The Steelers have finally moved from longtime starter Ben Roethlisberger and have added two potential replacements, journeyman Mitch Trubisky and first-round pick Kenny Pickett. Neither has firmly grasped the job at this stage though the veteran has worked primarily with the starters.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars hope to essentially redo the rookie season of Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick a year ago. Like most of his teammates, Lawrence struggled under former head coach Urban Meyer and his antiquated, dictatorial style of leadership.
While the ascension of rookie wide receiver George Pickens continues to garner significant attention, the biggest story in Pittsburgh remains the ongoing quarterback competition. Truibsky only saw two drives and didn’t have to make many plays, but the Steelers did reach the end zone during his stint. Veteran Mason Rudolph and Pickett also led scoring drives albeit against the defenses featuring more back-of-the-roster players. At least for now, Trubisky appears to have the inside track to the Week 1 starting job.
But regardless of who opens the year under center, the aforementioned Pickens increasingly looks a key piece to the passing game. The Georgia product caught three of his five targets for 43 yards, 26 of which came on a deep shot to the corner of the end zone for the Steelers’ second touchdown of the night.
Which Steelers will play, expected inactives
Mike Tomlin said Najee Harris and Cam Heyward will not play tonight in Jax, per @missi_matthews. TJ Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick expected to get a few snaps.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) August 20, 2022
With a quarterback competition still going, we’ll see all three of the Steelers quarterbacks in this game. We should expect the healthy starters to accompany Trubisky with the first team.
Mitch Trubisky will start on Saturday against the Jaguars. Kenny Pickett will be the next man up, followed by Mason Rudolph.— Emily Giangreco (@EmilyGiangreco) August 18, 2022
Tomlin says all three QB’s will see playing time.
The second game of the Jaguars’ post-Meyer era — the team played an extra exhibition during Hall of Fame induction weekend — saw Trevor Lawrence’s first live snaps in Doug Pederson’s offense. Coming off a disappointing rookie campaign, Lawrence looked improved, completing six of his 12 passes for 95 yards and a score. The touchdown came on a bootleg showcasing the young signal-caller’s mobility as well as a burgeoning connection with newly acquired tight end Evan Engram.
The Jaguars also got a glimpse at their other 2021 first-round pick, running back Travis Etienne. In his first game action since last year’s broken foot, Etienne looked like he still had some rust to shake off. He finished with nine carries for 23 yards with another 10 coming on a reception. Even with the offseason additions, Jacksonville needs the second-year pro to step into a featured role, so his progress bears monitoring.
Which Jaguars will play, expected inactives
It's #Jaguars gameday as the team gets set to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) August 20, 2022
What do you guys want to see from Jacksonville tonight?
All of the starters (that are healthy) are set to play a significant number of snaps. Also, remember to get to the stadium early for traffic.