The Pittsburgh Steelers were humiliated worse than they have been in decades, but it’s good to see Kenny Pickett’s teammates have his back.
I don’t blame you if decided to find something else to do on Sunday during the second half of the Steelers vs Bills game. While some fans were optimistic prior to kickoff, their spirits were quickly dampened after Buffalo went on a 21-0 run in the second quarter. This resulted in Buffalo entering the tunnel at the half with a 31-3 lead.
By no means was this performance Steelers fans were hoping for in Kenny Pickett’s first NFL start. While the rookie signal-caller did show signs of life at times, it didn’t equate to points on the board as Pittsburgh was ultimately outscored 38-3 in this Week 5 contest — the worst point margin for the Steelers since 1989.
In terms of Pickett’s performance, there’s a lot left to be desired. The rookie first-round pick wasn’t able to make many big plays down the field despite a whopping 52 passes thrown in this contest, and the stats in the box score more or less line up with what we saw on film — lots of volume in the passing game, but unspectacular results.
Pickett finished the contest with a stat line of 34/52 for 327 yards and an interception, according to ESPN stats. He managed just 6.3 yards per attempt, was sacked 3 times for 17 yards, and had a passer rating of 74.8.
All of what we witnessed on Sunday was less than ideal, but there was something positive to note: Kenny Pickett’s teammates certainly have his back.
Steelers teammates will rally behind Pickett
Even though this game was a massacre from the second quarter on, it’s clear that there’s a different energy level that begins and ends with quarterback, Kenny Pickett. This isn’t something we were used to seeing with Mitch Trubisky early at the helm this season. Despite unspectacular results, Pickett stood tough in the pocket against the league’s best defense, statistically, wasn’t afraid to pass the ball over the middle of the field.
In the second half, his Pittsburgh Steelers teammates showed they are going to have his back. After gaining a big chunk of yards and picking up a would-be first down with his legs on a third and long, Pickett took a shot near the head area while sliding. Ironically, it was former Pitt teammate, Damar Hamlin who delivered the blow.
Steelers offense guard, James Daniels, wasn’t going to let that slide. Though it ultimately caused him to be ejected from the contest, Daniels ran to the defense of the team’s rookie first-round pick and leveled Hamlin with a violent shove after the play. A few teammates joined in on the scuffle.
Later, in the fourth quarter, Pickett took a meaningless shot at the knees as Shaq Lawson went low despite his team winning by 35 points late in the fourth quarter. Pickett was not happy about this at all as he shoved Lawson following the play. Offensive linemen Chukwuma Okorafor and Mason Cole rushed to his aid.
Despite things going so horribly wrong for the Steelers in this embarrassing performance against the Bills, Kenny Pickett’s teammates made it clear that they have his back no matter how bad things look. This is a great sign, and Pickett clearly has the respect of the offensive line. Now it’s time to put his brutal loss in the rearview mirror and look ahead to the Buccaneers next week.