Steelers QB report card: Kenny Pickett struggles against Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Steelers rookie QB Kenny Pickett continued to go through growing pains this week against the Eagles. Here is how he played in the 35-13 loss.

The Steelers were no match for the Eagles this week, falling to 2-6 after the 35-13 beatdown. Kenny Pickett struggled once again, leading the offense to just three total scoring drives. He wasn’t helped much by the rest of the offense, but that is nothing new. Here is how he performed against the undefeated Eagles.

Steelers Pickett failed to extend drives against Eagles

So far, the most consistent aspect of the Steelers offense with Kenny Pickett as the starter has been their early drives. Every week, one of their first few drives is a long drive ending in points, but nothing else.

Part of it is Matt Canada’s inability to adjust once teams take away whatever was working early, but it isn’t that simple. I think once the opposing offense puts pressure on Pickett to score, he starts to hunt for big plays instead of focusing on sustaining drives.

Rookie QBs are already at a disadvantage, but the Steelers are asking too much of Pickett with how this offense is being called. Canada seems content to try and get to third and manageable every drive, which is already a bad strategy given their personnel.

Pickett wants to make plays but they aren’t being schemed up for him, so he starts to press and gets himself in trouble. He also faced a ton of pressure from the Eagles defensive line, forcing him to speed up his decision-making.

That pressure contributed to the four punts and two turnovers by the Steelers offense. Without any running game to speak of for most of the game, the Eagles D-line decimated the Pickett with six sacks. He finished 25 of 38 for 191 yards and an interception. He added 37 yards on the ground as well on a few nice scrambles.

Overall, Pickett continued to struggle to make plays down the field, averaging just five yards per attempt. Until the offense changes its dink-and-dunk philosophy, Pickett’s numbers will continue to disappoint. He hasn’t played great individually either, but it would be hard to in this offense.

Grade: C

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