The Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots face off on Thursday Night Football to kick off Week 14, and it might just be the worst played game of the season. Right now, the projected starting quarterbacks for this game are Mitchell Trubisky and Bailey Zappe.
Yeah, this might end up being one of the worst games, if not the worst game of the 2023 NFL Season, and to make matters even more interesting, this game has huge playoff implications, too. The Pittsburgh Steelers are 7-5 and currently hold the 5th seed in the AFC. The Patriots are all but eliminated from playoff contention, but obviously are still going to show up for the game.
Man, this game might not hit 20 points combined, honestly. Steelers starter Kenny Pickett was once again injured, and this time, it's not an injury he can play through, as the QB will have surgery on his ankle and will likely miss a few weeks. Trubisky is the backup, and I'm not sure Pickett is the better QB, so the Steelers' chances might be just as good with Trubisky in the lineup.
And a team's starting QB being on the same level as the backup is, well, not at all ideal. For the New England Patriots, they gave second-year QB Bailey Zappe the nod in Week 13, and it amounted to 0 points. The Patriots have the same issue as the Steelers-- it's not clear if Mac Jones or Zappe is the better QB, so I'm not sure Zappe being in the lineup changes anything.
The Patriots are 2-10 and look like a franchise without any direction. Fortunately for them, they pick second overall in the 2024 NFL Draft right now, which is a perfect spot to draft Drake Maye, perhaps. One thing we do know for sure is that this Thursday Night Football game might be the worst played game of the year.
Two of the worst offenses in the NFL are going head-to-head, and both teams also have pretty solid defenses, so I'd be surprised if there were more than a handful of touchdowns scored. My early prediction here is that the Steelers manage to eek out a win by a field goal.