Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky said the team's offense must develop a "killer mindset" after blowing a 14-point lead in a Week 1 win against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Steelers took a 17-3 advantage midway through the second quarter of Sunday's game on a touchdown pass from Trubisky to running back Najee Harris, but they failed to find the end zone again as part of a 23-20 overtime triumph over the reigning AFC champions.
"When your defense is playing that well, and they're getting turnovers, you just want to take care of the football, but we've got to have that killer mindset, that aggressive mentality to really take teams out of the game and just not allow 'em to keep it close," Trubisky told reporters Wednesday.
Pittsburgh's defense forced five turnovers and its special teams came up with a clutch block on an extra point by Bengals kicker Evan McPherson at the end of regulation to force overtime. Chris Boswell kicked the game-winning field goal in the extra period.
Those heroics from the other two phases wouldn't have been necessary if the Trubisky-led offense was a little more efficient in the season opener. The unit finished the contest with just 267 total yards and 13 first downs on 15 drives.
The Steelers averaged just 5.1 yards per passing attempt in Week 1, which ranked 30th of the league's 32 teams. Harris and Co. also put up a mere 3.4 yards per carry on the ground.
Trubisky, who was signed as a free agent during the offseason following the retirement of longtime franchise QB Ben Roethlisberger, knows there's room for improvement.
"I think timing ... from my perspective can be better—either getting it out a little sooner or waiting for the plays to develop a little more, just to a lot of guys to be in the right spot the right time," he said. "But overall we just need to execute and make the plays."
Of course, a more optimistic view is the Steelers played far from their best game on offense and still found a way to knock off a top-tier AFC contender, which is a promising sign.
Pittsburgh's schedule in the coming weeks is quite favorable with home games against the New England Patriots (Week 2) and New York Jets (Week 4) sandwiched around a road trip to face the AFC North rival Cleveland Browns (Week 3).
It creates a plausible path to a 4-0 start for head coach Mike Tomlin's group, but the offense will need to make some serious strides to make that a reality.
If the improvement doesn't happen quickly, the calls for rookie Kenny Pickett to take over the offense figure to arrive in short order.