2022 Steelers Season Recall: Season starts with upset in Cincinnati

Steel City Underground presents our 2022 Steelers Recall: a look back at Pittsburgh Steelers games and storylines from last season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Cincinnati to face the defending AFC Champion Bengals in a hotly anticipated opening weekend kickoff to the 2022 NFL season.

The Steelers entered the year with some big questions looming, the biggest of all being who would replace future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. For this contest, at least, the answer was veteran QB Mitchell Trubisky, who was signed during the offseason and won a competition between backup Mason Rudolph and rookie Kenny Pickett for the starting job.

Needless to say, fans who did download betway were about to take advantage of the skewed odds as the Steelers were heavy underdogs. The game would be a back-and-forth struggle, as Trubisky was hot and cold throughout. (The new Steelers quarterback completed 7/10 (70% completion rate) for 77 yards and a touchdown pass in the first half, but would only complete 7/15 (46.6%) for 36 yards in the second half.)

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Yet, the Steelers were able to maintain a lead throughout most of the game. Before we get to what was some Trubisky heroics, the game started with a bang from the league’s highest-paid defense, as S Minkah Fitzpatrick picked off Joe Burrow’s first pass attempt of the day, taking the ball 31 yards for a Steelers touchdown.

Bengals kicker Evan McPherson was heavily involved throughout the game, as he hit a 59-yard field goal to edge the score to 7-3 in favor of Pittsburgh. The Steelers, however, would score the next ten points, with Chris Boswell chipping in a short 20-yard try, then Najee Harris capping off a 7-play second quarter drive with a one-yard TD catch from Trubisky to put the Steelers up 17-3.

However, the Bengals got another field goal in the closing seconds of the second quarter to place the game at 17-6 for the half. The Bengals came out and scored on a Tyler Body touchdown to bring the game to 17-14 following a two-point conversion.

Then the Bengals struggles continued.

Joe Burrow had three first half interceptions, and would add another – and nearly had five total, had a fifth turnover not been statistically ruled a fumble. This prevented Cincinnati from taking advantage of a woeful Steelers second half offense which could only muster a 48-yard Boswell field goal, but the Bengals would knot the score with two seconds remaining.

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McPherson’s go-ahead extra point attempt would be missed due an injury to their long snapper, as Fitzpatrick would zoom in and block the try to force what was a wild overtime period where both kickers missed field goals in sudden death fashion which could’ve won their side the game. This is when Trubisky arrived, freelancing with two longer completions to TE Pat Freiermuth that setup Boswell’s game-ending, and game winning 53-yard field goal.

The Steelers would dethrone the Bengals at home by a final score of 23-20 to go up 1-0 to start their season. However, the celebration was short-lived.

In the aftermath of having to play 100 snaps on defense, the Steelers would lose 2021 NFL Defensive MVP for eight weeks, sending the team into some dark days ahead. (We’ll cover those on the next 2022 Steelers season recall.)

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