Kenny Pickett faces daunting road ahead with Steelers
Kenny Pickett and the Steelers will struggle to win this season as they face a tough stretch of opponents. Here are the obstacles in their way.
The Pittsburgh Steelers took a step in the right direction as it beat the Cincinnati Bengals in the season opener. The defense looked great and the offense would have looked more dynamic if Kenny Pickett was under center.
Pickett got his shot a little too late. Head coach Mike Tomlin decided to replace starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky, with Pickett in the second half of the Steelers Week 4 matchup against the Jets.
This upset many fans because the Steelers had 10 days to prepare for this game, giving them plenty of time to prepare a game plan around Pickett as the starter.
The Steelers could not pull out a win against the Jets. They followed this loss with an embarrassing loss against the Buffalo Bills. The Steelers went into that game as 14-point underdogs.
As Pickett looks to overcome these losses, he faces a tough schedule ahead.
In the next three weeks, the Steelers are slated to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Miami Dolphins, and the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. Winning any of these games is a tall task for a rookie quarterback with a struggling supporting cast.
Pickett faces a challenging season because of many systematic failures.
Starting at the top of that list is the wide receiving corp. The team is talented at the position, they just lack the consistency to be a threat. The run game is still struggling to excel and it is not because of the offensive line. In fact, it is because of the role Najee Harris is failing to fulfill.
As a first-round draft pick entering his second year, fans have expected a dramatic improvement in play from his rookie year. Harris is playing so poorly that the undrafted backup, Jaylen Warren is making a push to become the starter.
Despite what they did in the preseason, the offensive line has actually played well this year. They have provided great protection for both Trubisky and Pickett.
Finally, the biggest reason the Steelers will struggle this season is that TJ Watt has been hurt. Without Watt, the Pittsburgh defense is a shadow of what it used to be. The defense is not elite without Watt on the field.
When the offense struggled in recent years, they could rely on the defense to keep the game close. Without Watt, who is expected to return after the bye week, this team fails to succeed.
It sure looks like Kenny Pickett has what it takes to secure himself as the franchise quarterback. If he can work through the obstacles of this season and find success then this season of growth will be fundamental for establishing himself as a cornerstone of the franchise.