Steelers fans don’t get the fairytale debut they hoped for from Kenny Pickett

Pittsburgh Steelers' Kenny Pickett #8 warms up against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on October 09, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers' Kenny Pickett #8 warms up against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on October 09, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

Kenny Pickett made his first NFL start against the Bills, but it was a less-than-stellar performance from the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback. 

I didn’t think that the Pittsburgh Steelers would walk away from Buffalo victorious in Week 5, but I did think that Kenny Pickett could have a big game against a depleted Bills secondary missing players like Tre’Davious White, Jordan Poyer, and Micah Hyde. Fans were ecstatic about Kenny Pickett’s starting debut, but cheers quickly turned to jeers with the all-around dismal performance of the team in Week 5.

The Bills came out firing against Pickettburgh. While Mike Tomlin’s team was able to hang within one score in the first quarter, Josh Allen exploited a banged-up Pittsburgh defense as he went on a 21-0 run in quarter number two — finishing the half with a whopping 31-3 lead over the Steelers.

The immediate whole the defense got this team in made it difficult for Kenny Pickett to shine in his debut, as he had a daunting uphill battle to get this offense going against what is statistically the best defense in the NFL.

Pickett underwhelms in first start with Steelers

Sadly, this wasn’t the Cinderella story Steelers fans hoped for from Kenny Pickett. While we would have loved nothing more than to watch him march into Buffalo and upset Josh Allen and a stacked Bills team, the results left a lot to be desired.

Pickett did make some nice throws while showing touch and ball placement, but his efforts simply didn’t translate to points, as Pittsburgh’s offense mustered up just 3 points on the afternoon. Though he was able to manage the first 300-yard game from a Steelers quarterback since late in the 2021 season, Pickett’s stat line was less than stellar. He finished the contest by completing 34 of 52 passes for 327 yards and an interception, via ESPN stats. Much of this production came in garbage time when the game was completely out of hand.

The good news is that there’s only room to go up from here. While the offense scored only three points, things weren’t quite as bad as the scoreboard would indicate. Kenny Pickett had some impressive drives in which he was able to freely move the ball on Buffalo’s defense. However, a potential touchdown drive stalled when Diontae Johnson had the ball ripped away from him on a 4th and 6 and Chris Boswell uncharacteristically missed two chipshot field goals.

Though this obviously wouldn’t have made a difference in the results of the game, it would have made Pickett’s debut look a bit more respectable. Sadly, after his first start, Pickett now has 4 interceptions on the season and hasn’t had a passing touchdown yet. This trend won’t continue for long, but it’s certainly not the start we desired.

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Kenny Pickett has shown some promise very early in his NFL career, but we didn’t get the fairytale starting debut that would have really put him on the map around the league. Obviously, we hope the Steelers rookie quarterback can bounce back with a strong performance next week and make strides as his rookie season marches on.