Pittsburgh Steelers fans were hoping to see improvement from Kenny Pickett in Week 8, but here’s why the rookie QB is trending in the wrong direction.
If you were hoping to see something utterly terrifying this Halloween, look no further than the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 8 performance against the Philadelphia Eagles. As a unit, Mike Tomlin’s team played one of the worst games I have seen in my lifetime, as players on both sides of the ball struggled in the worst way against far superior talent. However, what was most disheartening was the performance of Kenny Pickett.
After taking Pickett in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, fans didn’t know when they would see the rookie quarterback first take the field, but it was safe to say that expectations were high. Sadly, things haven’t gone according to plan early on.
Pickett looked encouraging in his first performance against the New York Jets in Week 4 despite turning the ball over three times. But since then, Pickett has been trending in the wrong direction.
Against the Eagles this week, Pickett completed 25 of 38 passes for just 191 yards to go with an interception, via ESPN stats. The rookie was also sacked a whopping 6 times. Unfortunately, his performance was every bit as discouraging as his pedestrian stat line.
In now what equates to roughly four full games of play, Pickett has 2 passing touchdowns to go with 8 interceptions. His yards per attempt are the lowest among any qualifying quarterback in the NFL.
Steelers must see improvement in Pickett soon
As a rookie, Kenny Pickett still needs to be given some grace (especially considering that he’s operating with a poor game plan and an incompetent offensive coordinator in Matt Canada). However, he still deserves plenty of blame for the way things have been going on offense.
In games in which Kenny Pickett has seen the field, the Steelers are averaging a dismal 13.2 points per game. This isn’t far off from the 14.2 offensive points they are averaging on the season, but things have ultimately gotten worse since going from Mitch Trubisky to Kenny Pickett. Statistically speaking, the Steelers have the worst offense in the NFL.
Obviously, some growing pains are expected, but it’s not encouraging to see no improvements being made after his fifth NFL game. Even against a stellar Eagles team, we would have loved to see more big-time throws from Pickett and the ability to put more points on the board. Instead, Pittsburgh mustered up just 13 points and just 5 of Pickett’s 38 passes went for more than 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, according to Next Gen Stats.
It’s far too early to hit the panic button or to say that the rookie should be on thin ice. Mike Tomlin made the decision to roll with Pickett, and there’s no turning back now. However, if we don’t start seeing improvement soon, we are really going to start to question whether or not Kenny Pickett will be the franchise quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers long-term or if they will be looking for an upgrade in the near future.