PITTSBURGH — Trevor Lawrence smiled and adjusted his hoodie when asked about a comment he made days prior to Sunday’s win over the Steelers.
Lawrence, who threw for 292 yards in the Jaguars’ 20-10 win, was asked if he was aware that his “little terrible towel” comment had made waves in Pittsburgh leading up to the game. “I heard,” said Lawrence, who has now won 12 of his last 14 starts, including the postseason.
While he could have been upset that his comment was taken out of context, Lawrence looked at the situation with the perspective of a veteran player.
“I don’t really really care,” Lawrence continued. “Fans do that. It’s part of what makes this game great. It’s fuel. You want to hate your opponent when they come in and make it as hard as possible on them. Totally understand that. I hope our fans do that in Jacksonville, too.
“No problem with that. It was great. I thought we played pretty clean with the noise minus a couple of things. I thought we communicated pretty well. Great environment. The fans were loud. They did a great job, too, but we found a way. It was great.”
Trevor Lawrence on his “little terrible towel” comment. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/ySgWqcBs9z
— BryanDeArdo (@BryanDeArdo) October 29, 2023 Prior to the game, Steelers Hall of Fame coach Bill Cowher playfully grilled Lawrence for his terrible towel comment. Lawrence’s performance on Sunday probably didn’t make the former Steelers coach feel much better.
Despite being hit several times by the Steelers defense, Lawrence completed 75% of his throws that included his game-winning, 56-yard touchdown pass to former college teammate Travis Etienne.
“I don’t think we’ve ever thrown the ball to the running back out there,” Lawrence said of the touchdown pass. “Gotta give a lot of credit to Travis for staying ready and knowing what the look was. They played a Cover 2. The corner jumped our out (Calvin Ridley), and Travis was just rolling down the sideline.
“The safety, really instead of getting high over the top, he drove as well. I think he thought I was throwing it to Calvin, too. Got fortunate I put enough air on it because that could have been bad; he had a jump on it if I threw it flat. Travis making a great play down the field. That’s a tough play for the running back. Him being able to haul it and score was a huge play for us.”
LAWRENCE TO ETIENNE ON A 56-YARD TD.
📺: #JAXvsPIT on CBS 📱: Stream on #NFLPlus https://t.co/Quwvdzpx7G pic.twitter.com/LXcyZZEywR
— NFL (@NFL) October 29, 2023 While it wasn’t pretty, the Jaguars won a tough game against a Pittsburgh team that also has playoff aspirations. In the process, Jacksonville became the second AFC team to win six games.
“It means that we’ve still got more to work for,” Lawrence said when asked if the Jaguars are a Super Bowl contender. “We’re not the best team in the league. We’ve still got more out there for us. … It would be great if this decided the playoffs and all that right now, but it doesn’t. We’ve got nine games left. We also know that last year, we were 3-7 going into the bye and we made the playoffs and won a playoff game.
“Honestly, it means nothing,” Lawrence continued. “It means we’ve had a great start to the season. We’re in a really good position going forward, but we’ve got a lot of big games ahead of us after this bye and a lot of good teams, too. We’re just getting started.”
The Chicago Bears will try to continue their good recent play when they hit the road to face the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football. After losing its first four games of the season, Chicago (2-5) has won two of its last three. The Bears are coming off a 30-12 victory against the Raiders. On the other hand, Los Angeles (2-4) is playing arguably its worst ball of the season. The Chargers enter Sunday’s showdown having lost back-to-back games and sit in third place in the AFC West.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET. Los Angeles is a 9-point favorite in the latest Bears vs. Chargers odds, while the over/under for total points scored is 46. Before you make any Chargers vs. Bears picks or NFL predictions, you need to see the NFL betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up more than $7,000 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception. The model enters Week 8 of the 2023 NFL season on an incredible 173-122 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season. It is also on a 27-14 roll on top-rated NFL picks since Week 7 of last season.
The model also ranked in the top 10 on NFLPickWatch four of the past six years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 94% of CBS Sports Football Pick’em players four times during that span. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now, the model has zeroed in on Chargers vs. Bears and just revealed its picks and predictions. You can see the model’s picks only at SportsLine. Here are several NFL odds and betting lines for Bears vs. Chargers:
Bears vs. Chargers spread: Los Angeles -9 Bears vs. Chargers over/under: 46 points Bears vs. Chargers money line: Los Angeles -454, Chicago +346 LAC: Chargers rank eighth in passing offense (252.3 yards per game) CHI: Bears are fifth in rushing offense (141.3 yards per game) Bears vs. Chargers picks: See picks here Bears vs. Chargers live stream: fubo (try for free) Why the Chargers can cover Los Angeles’ record may be a byproduct of the team’s tough schedule. The Chargers have lost to only one team with a losing record (Titans) this season. Three of the Chargers’ four losses came against the Dolphins (5-2), Cowboys (4-2) and Chiefs (6-1). Last week’s 31-17 loss to Kansas City was the only defeat this season that was by more than three points.
In addition, Los Angeles has been good at stopping opposing running backs this season. In fact, the Chargers are holding opposing backs to 3.6 yards per rush, which is tied for sixth-best in the league. Last week, they held Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco to just 2.5 yards per carry. See which team to pick here.
Why the Bears can cover Undrafted rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent has a good matchup facing the Los Angeles pass defense. The Chargers rank dead last in the league in pass defense, allowing 310.0 passing yards per game. Los Angeles also ranks last in opponent’s yards per attempt (8.8) and next-to-last in opponent’s passer rating (105.6).
In addition, injured Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has struggled badly over the last three games. Prior to fracturing the middle finger of his left hand in a Week 4 win over the Raiders, Herbert had completed 74.4% of his passes with six touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 112.9 rating. In three games since, he has completed 57.1% of his passes with four touchdowns and four interceptions and a 75.9 rating. See which team to pick here.
How to make Bears vs. Chargers picks SportsLine’s model is leaning Over the point total, predicting 54 total points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 50% of simulations. You can see the model’s NFL picks and analysis only at SportsLine.
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense can be summed up by the first play during Sunday’s 20-10 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
On the play, Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett launched a deep ball to Diontae Johnson, who had gotten past the defense. But the two could not connect on the throw, and the Steelers ultimately punted the ball away.
So close, yet so far away.
Pickett and Johnson had another chance to make a big play later in the half. But Pickett threw behind Johnson on what could have been a go-ahead touchdown pass. Pittsburgh settled for three points instead of a touchdown.
So close, but again, so far away.
Halloween might be coming up, but the way the Steelers’ offense is playing, it may as well be Groundhog Day. The unit continues to move at a snails pace early in games. Sometimes, they overcome their slow starts with a frantic finish, like they did the previous two games. But that didn’t happen on Sunday, much to the chagrin of the team’s No. 1 receiver.
“I was pissed,” Johnson told CBS Sports when asked about the Steelers’ offensive struggles, especially early on. “I had a lot of stuff going through my head. ‘Why aren’t we moving the ball? What’s the issue?’ But at the end of the day, like I said, we’ve just got to keep playing, keep believing in one another.”
Sunday’s loss will only increase the criticism surrounding offensive coordinator Matt Canada. “Fire Canada” chants were again heard on Sunday from Steelers fans who have run out of patience.
Johnson, however, doesn’t think the finger should be pointed at Canada. It should instead be pointed at the players.
“It’s on us, it’s not the coaches,” Johnson said. “We’re the ones out there that’s got to play at the end of the day. All they can do is just call the play. Obviously, it’s got to be the right play for the right defense or look or whatever it is. But it’s on us at the end of the day to start fast and stop making excuses all the time. Just find a way to turn it around, regardless.”
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“Really, just staying around the team,” Johnson said of his quick turnaround from the injury. “Making sure I’m on top of my plays and not letting my mind wander. Just being around the team, they kept me sane, kept my mind right and on the right path. Once I got back, it was like second nature again. Really, understanding the game and understanding leverages and stuff like that. That helps you out as a receiver, knowing what release to use and how to run your route. Little stuff like that.”
How does Johnson’s return help Pittsburgh’s offense?
“It takes the pressure off and allows us to have a lot of one-on-one matchups,” Johnson said. “If they go zone, [Allen Robinson] can work the middle, either one of us can work the middle based off the formations.”
Making a big play early, Johnson said, could also help the Steelers get off to a fast start. Specifically, he said that he and George Pickens need to do more early on to help Pittsburgh’s offense get on track.
“We’ve got to make a play,” he said. “We feed off each other, then everybody starts rolling.”
Johnson knows how to help the offense, but he echoed an oft-heard response when he was asked why the offense isn’t doing those things, especially early in games.
“I don’t know, to be honest,” Johnson said.
Making things more complicated is Pickett’s rib injury that held him out of the second half. Mitch Trubisky, who provided a temporary spark by hitting Pickens for a touchdown, threw two ill advised interceptions while forcing the ball downfield.
Regardless of who plays quarterback, though, the Steelers’ other offensive players know that it’s on them to make plays while eliminating mistakes.
“In this league, it’s next man up,” said running back Jaylen Warren. “Cant’ focus on those variables.”
Speaking of Warren, he and fellow back Najee Harris were practically invisible on Sunday. They had a combined 12 carries for 32 yards as Pittsburgh rushed for just 70 yards, which played right into the Jaguars’ hands.
“Really, just going into the game, we were just trying to be as aggressive as possible,” said Jaguars defensive lineman DaVon Hamilton. “Just impose our will on them, and that’s what we did. We stopped the run. They had a hard time passing the ball, too. Just trying to be as effective as possible.”
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), the Steelers will be forced to put Sunday’s game behind them, what with the Titans coming to Pittsburgh on Thursday night. While the short turnaround provides obvious physical and schematic challenges, it can benefit a team that is looking to erase the stink of a bad game.
“We play Thursday, so we’ve got to go in there tomorrow, lock in, get our feet back from that game and get ready for this next game,” tight end Connor Heyward said. “They just won. No other way to put it. Not going to make an excuse. They just beat us. We’ve got to learn from this and get better.”
While Sunday’s game was just one loss, it in some ways is a microcosm of what the Steelers have been since they started the 2020 season with 11 straight wins. Pittsburgh finished that season 1-5, went 9-7-1 in 2021 and were 9-8 last season. The Steelers, a team that prides itself on competing for and winning championships, is 23-24-1 (including the postseason) since their 11-0 start three years ago.
That record is not lost on Steelers fans, who have grown frustrated with their team’s inability to move up the AFC’s proverbial food chain despite fielding a roster that includes some of the NFL’s biggest stars, including defensive studs T.J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Sunday’s game could have been a statement game. Instead, it was another frustrating afternoon for a team and specifically an offense that is still trying to find its way.
Until they find whatever is missing, there’s really only one thing the Steelers’ offense can do.
“I just think we just need to keep fighting,” Warren said. “At times, we’re moving the ball and all that. It’s unfortunate that sometimes we don’t get the seven points we need. It is what it is.
“Put it behind us right now. Just realize the game is over and just have to move onto the next one.”
Three years ago, the Los Angeles Chargers were in need of some help on both sides of the ball, but especially on defense. And they were searching for a new head coach. They didn’t have to look far to find Brandon Staley, who was coming off a terrific season as the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive coordinator.
L.A. finished the 2020 season having allowed the fewest yards and points in the NFL, and Staley received a lot of credit for bringing his Vic Fangio-style scheme with him and putting players like Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey and more in position to succeed. With the Chargers’ defense having taken a significant step backward despite being loaded with talent, the team identified Staley as the one who could maximize it.
Things have not worked out that way at all. Three years into Staley’s tenure in Los Angeles, the Chargers’ defense looks worse than ever. And that’s despite the team’s repeated efforts to fortify the base of talent with infusions from the draft, free agency, and in trades.
Prior to the 2021 season, the Chargers drafted Asante Samuel Jr. When that wasn’t enough, they went all out in 2022: they splashed the pot for J.C. Jackson, Austin Johnson, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Bryce Callahan, Kyle VanNoy, and Morgan Fox in free agency, traded for Khalil Mack, and drafted J.T. Woods and Ja’Sir Taylor. They also extended Derwin James. Again, it didn’t work. So this offseason, they signed Eric Kendricks and drafted Tuli Tuipulotu. It still didn’t work. A few weeks into the season, they traded Jackson away, admitting defeat on the biggest free-agent signing of the Staley era.
After all this maneuvering, and with Staley calling the defense, the Chargers have what looks like a bottom-five-to-10 defense at best. They rank 23rd in FTN’s DVOA against the run and 28th against the pass. They’ve forced opponents to punt at the 23rd-highest rate in the league, per Tru Media. They have gotten a three-and-out less often than all but three other defenses. They continually give up explosives: opponents have gained 10 or more yards on 23.5% of their plays and 20 yards or more on 7.5%. Both of those figures are the second worst among NFL defenses.
The Chargers will try to fix things and halt a two-game losing streak when they play host to the Chicago Bears on Sunday night (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC, stream on fubo).
They continue to have massive issues stopping the run, largely because they cannot win up front. According to FTN, they are 22nd in opponent’s Adjusted Line Yards, which assigns credit in the run game based on a percentage of yards gained. They’re also 22nd in the league in yards before contact per carry. Ball-carriers too often reach the second or even third level of the defense before they get hit, so even though the Chargers have been a pretty good tackling group, they are still getting gashed on the ground.
That would be bad enough, but it’s been compounded this year by a pass defense that has taken a massive step backward. The defense is designed to take away big plays, but has given up the single-highest rate of explosive passes per dropback in the NFL, according to Tru Media. They can’t get pressure, ranking 25th in the share of dropbacks on which they have generated a sack, hit or hurry despite employing Joey Bosa and the aforementioned Khalil Mack.
In other words, this is a defense that is good at almost virtually nothing. They don’t stop the run. Opponents throw the ball all over them. They give up big plays. They don’t force punts. They allow opponents to sustain drives. And they do all this despite paying more money to defensive players than almost any other team in the league. That’s just about as bad as it gets. They are lucky to face a team starting a quarterback who was starting for Division II Shepherd University last year (Tyson Bagent of the Bears) and they get the Jets next week. But over the second half of the season the Chargers have games against each of the Lions, Ravens, Bills and Chiefs. That’s less than ideal. If things don’t change, fast, on this side of the ball, it seems more likely than not that someone else will be entrusted to fix them next year.
The Chiefs entered Sunday’s Week 8 rematch with the Broncos as touchdown favorites on the road. But the reigning Super Bowl champions struggled to score a touchdown at all. Denver’s defense stymied Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, while Russell Wilson and Courtland Sutton connected for another acrobatic score, as the Broncos rolled to a 24-9 AFC West upset.
Before Sunday, the Broncos had lost to the Chiefs in their last 16 straight meetings. The last time Denver beat K.C. was in September of 2015.
The Chiefs had won six straight since dropping their season opener to the Lions, including a 19-8 victory over the Broncos just two weeks before Sunday’s showdown. Wilson and Co. were hapless that time out, with the quarterback managing just 95 passing yards and two interceptions in a defeat that dropped Denver to 1-5 on the year. On Sunday, Mahomes was the QB out of sync — he reportedly had the flu going in, but was feeling better on Saturday — throwing an ugly early pick to Ja’Quan McMillian, then chucking a second interception to Justin Simmons while trailing late in the fourth.
Situational football was a particular problem for the Chiefs in Mile High, with K.C. going 4 of 13 on third and fourth downs and 0 for 3 in the red zone before the final few minutes of play. Sean Payton’s defense, meanwhile, came to play when it mattered most, with star safety Justin Simmons all but sealing the “W” with the late pick in traffic. Baron Browning also headlined the effort with two sacks and three QB hits, and Denver finished the day contacting Mahomes on almost a dozen different drop-backs.
Wilson, meanwhile, didn’t post gaudy numbers throwing against a Chiefs “D” that’s been stingier than usual in 2023. But he was sharp in the red zone, finding Sutton and Jerry Jeudy for tight-window scores and finishing with three TDs through the air.
Holding the Chiefs to 9 points came just five weeks after the Broncos gave up 70 to the Dolphins.
The Broncos are now 3-5, on a two-game win streak, and will enjoy a bye before returning in Week 10 against the Bills. The Chiefs, now 6-2 on the year, won’t have much time to think about their defeat, as they’re due to travel to Germany for an overseas matchup with the Dolphins in Week 9.
After two games on the road, the Lions are heading back home. They will take on the Las Vegas Raiders at 8:15 p.m. ET on Monday. Neither of those teams managed to put together many points in their previous contests, so the offenses might be a little more motivated than usual.
Detroit gave up the first points and the most points on Sunday. They took a serious blow against the Ravens, falling 38-6. The over/under was set at 43.5 points, so nice work oddsmakers; you were right on the money.
Jahmyr Gibbs put forth a good effort for the losing side as he gained 126 total yards and a touchdown.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the score, the Lions couldn’t find the end zone and finished the game with only a touchdown. They were smoked by their opponents in that department as the Ravens scored five.
Meanwhile, the point spread may have favored Las Vegas last Sunday, but the final result did not. They took a 30-12 bruising from the Bears.
Detroit’s loss dropped their record down to 5-2. As for Las Vegas, their defeat was their third straight on the road, which dropped their overall record down to 3-4.
In addition to losing their last games, both teams failed to cover the spread. As for their next game, the Lions are the favorite in this one, as the experts expect to see them win by eight points. They might be worth a quick bet since they’ve sitting on a four game streak of covering the spread when expected to win.
Here’s a few offensive stats to keep an eye on ahead of Monday’ match: The Lions command a daunting offense this season, having averaged 3.1 touchdowns per game (they’re ranked fourth in touchdowns overall). It’s a different story for the Raiders , though, as they’ve been averaging only 1.6 per game. Will the Lions continue their march to the end zone, or will the Raiders flip the script?
Odds Detroit is a big 8-point favorite against Las Vegas, according to the latest NFL odds.
The over/under is set at 46 points.
See NFL picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.
Series History Detroit and Las Vegas both have 1 win in their last 2 games.
Nov 03, 2019 – Las Vegas 31 vs. Detroit 24 Nov 22, 2015 – Detroit 18 vs. Las Vegas 13
ARLINGTON, Texas — Losing Pro Bowl cornerback Trevon Diggs, whose 18 career interceptions since 2020 are tied for the most in the NFL with New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson, was a big blow for the Dallas Cowboys’ top-five scoring defense, but second-year cornerback DaRon Bland, a fifth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, has seamlessly transitioned to playing outside corner in 2023. Bland recorded his third pick-six of the season, the most in the NFL, on his 30-yard interception return touchdown of Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford’s pass that was intended for Cooper Kupp. The pick-six put the Cowboys ahead by 14 — 17-3 — a big momentum swing in the Cowboys’ 43-20 demolition of the Rams on Sunday.
3RD PICK-6 OF THE YEAR FOR DARON BLAND 🔥
📺: #LARvsDAL on FOX 📱: Stream on #NFLPlus https://t.co/Quwvdzpx7G pic.twitter.com/EwrfaHMF8f
— NFL (@NFL) October 29, 2023 The Cowboys’ heavy blitz up the middle forced Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford to make a throw quickly, and Bland was waiting for him to attempt a pass to the outside flat toward Cooper Kupp. Bland’s three interception-return touchdowns are the most in a season in Cowboys history.
“I saw Cooper Kupp was in a stack, and it seemed like he had an option route, so he broke out and then once he turned, I saw that ball,” Bland said postgame on Sunday. “I said ‘Thank you God.'”
He is now only one more pick-six away from tying the NFL single-season record of four, which was last accomplished by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Eric Allen in 1993.
“It means a lot,” Bland said. “You know [Trevon] Diggs, he was always wanting to get the ball. Just being able to step in, it feels good.”
Bland was never guaranteed playtime since he was a fifth-round pick out of Sacramento State, but his emergence now has Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones taking a victory lap on his selection during the middle of Bland’s second season.
“You’ve got to really check that box, you don’t have them right a lot of times when you are picking them in the draft, so he has been in a good situation here but he showed quick,” Jones said postgame on Sunday. “He has had a lot of work, but he deserves it. He’s just what we see. He’s made big plays for us so far this year. He’ll make big plays in my mind the rest of his career.”
The 24-year-old began his career as a fill-in at nickel cornerback for an injured Jourdan Lewis last season, and he hauled in five interceptions as a rookie in 2022, tied for the fifth-most in the entire NFL. Despite switching positions in 2023 to outside cornerback, Bland has played even better. He is actually playing like the best cornerback in the NFL right now. His 10.7 passer rating allowed in coverage is the lowest in the NFL among players with 40 or more targets thrown their way this season. The next closest player is Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Darious Williams, whose 41.9 passer rating is over 30 points higher. Bland’s teammate and 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore ranks third in the league with 45.1 passer rating on the opposite of the formation at age 33.
“That’s why I said he’s that guy,” Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said postgame when asked about Bland’s success moving from being a nickel [inside] corner as a rookie in 2022 to being a boundary [outside] corner in 2023. “Not a lot of guys are able to move positions like that and make the impact that he’s been able to make. Obviously when you lose a guy like Trevon [Diggs], people wonder. When a guy like that steps in and says ‘I’m here and I’m here to play’, that’s important. That’s huge. He’s a mature man that prepares the right way. He does everything throughout the week.
“He’s not a big rah rah [guy] and doesn’t even really talk much to be honest with you. He does it within his play on the field, does it in practice. He made some plays on me from Day 1 when he showed up that said this guy knows what he is looking at, knows what he is doing and is confident in himself. He trusts breaking at the right time and making the right plays. He is only going to get better because he’s young and approaches the game the right way. He is only going to see more things that he is confident in jumping. He has another guy on the other side like Stephon to teach him. He has been impressive. This is only the beginning.”
Bland’s three pick-sixes are tied for the most in any team’s first seven games in NFL history. He now also has more pick-sixes this season than Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders had in his five seasons (1995-1999) with the Cowboys (two). During Sanders’ lone NFL Defensive Player of the Year campaign in 1994 with the San Francisco 49ers, he totaled three interception-return touchdowns in 14 games played. Bland’s nine interceptions lead the NFL since his debut in 2022, four of which have come in 2023. His four interceptions are the second-most in the league this season behind Ravens defensive back Geno Stone’s five.
“He’s super instinctive and has great ball skills,” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said postgame. “He’s so consistent for a young player. Not only what he’s done this year but also last year. He’s going to play a long time.”
Kyle Murray’s return to the field will have to wait a bit longer. Following the Cardinals’ Week 8 loss to the Ravens at home on Sunday, head coach Jonathan Gannon confirmed to reporters that Joshua Dobbs, who has been filling in for the injured Murray throughout this season, will again start for the team in Week 9 when his team travels to Cleveland to take on the Browns.
Murray has been participating in practice with Arizona after the team opened up his practice window earlier this month. The former No. 1 overall pick, who suffered a torn ACL in Week 14 last season, was listed as a full participant in practice last Wednesday and then was not listed at all for the remainder of the week, signaling that he is fully healthy. Despite that, the team listed him as doubtful for this game in Week 8 and it appears the team will continue to have him on the shelf for at least another week.
When asked if Murray will start in Week 10 when the Cardinals return home for a matchup against the Falcons, Gannon said, “We’ll see. Day-to-day, guys.”
This is a bit of a curious situation. If Murray is healthy — as the team injury report suggests — why wouldn’t the Cardinals play him? Not only that, but Dobbs has started to come back down the earth after an impressive start to the season. In the loss to Baltimore, the veteran completed 25 of his 37 passes for just 207 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. If Dobbs was playing at a high level, that would, in theory, give the Cardinals more breathing room to allow Murray to take his time in his recovery, but the club is now 1-7 and in desperate need of a boost. You’d think that injecting him back into the offense would be a clear spark to what has otherwise been a down season in Glendale.
PITTSBURGH — Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett exited the first half against the Jaguars on Sunday with a rib injury, and he was ruled out for the rest of the game. Mitch Trubisky finished the game for Pittsburgh, who made a brief rally but ultimately was on the short end of a 20-10 final score.
Now, the second-year quarterback’s status is up in the air for next week with Pittsburgh set to open up Week 9 on Thursday night against the Titans, according to ESPN. The team will look to see how Pickett responds on Monday to further determine his availability going forward.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin didn’t provide an update on Pickett after the game, leaving his status for Thursday night’s game against the Titans up in the air.
“I don’t have any understanding of that, no,” Tomlin said when asked about the severity of Pickett’s injury and what his status could be moving forward.
The injury occurred when Pickett was hit by Jaguars defensive lineman Adam Gotsis on a first-down pass attempt with 17 seconds left until halftime. Pickett stayed on the ground for several moments before leaving the field under his own power.
Here’s the play when Pickett suffered the injury:
So you saw the roughing call against the #Steelers, how then is this NOT roughing?
In my view, neither should have been called BUT if you called Neal, you had to call this too pic.twitter.com/9KvUOwDLFr
— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) October 29, 2023 After a slow start, Pickett finished the half with 73 yards on 10 of 16 passing. He made several key plays on Pittsburgh’s 12-play, 93-yard scoring drive that cut their deficit to three points late in the first half.
The Steelers do have an experienced backup in Trubisky, a former Pro Bowler with the Bears who has made 57 starts during his seven-year NFL career. He went 2-3 as the Steelers’ starting quarterback last season that included a road win over the Panthers in Week 15.
But Trubisky was unable to lead the Steelers back on Sunday after trailing 9-3 at halftime. While he did connect with George Pickens for the team’s lone touchdown, Trubisky’s two interceptions played a role in Pittsburgh’s third loss of the season.
“I’ve got to be smarter,” Trubisky said afterward. “I’m out there trying to win the game. … I wanted to push the ball down the field, and that was the wrong thing to do (on his second interception). Got to learn from it.”
As far as Pickett is concerned, expect Tomlin to provide an update on his status during his weekly press conference, which will likely take place on Monday.