The Pittsburgh Steelers can’t be encouraged by the outcome of their Week 11 game against the Bengals, but they can take some comfort in Kenny Pickett.
This was far from a perfect game by the Pittsburgh Steelers — that pretty much goes across the board for everybody. Mike Tomlin essentially admitted that he was outcoached against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11, while the execution on both sides of the ball wasn’t nearly good enough.
Eventually, this resulted in a 37-30 loss that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate. This game showed us that the Steelers are still pretty far away from legitimately competing. However, I was encouraged by some of the things I saw from Kenny Pickett.
After re-watching the game against the Bengals, I came away relieved to see that Pickett had made some progress. While he still needs to do a lot more improving down the stretch in his rookie season, here are three signs that showed why Pickett could be a franchise quarterback for the Steelers:
Pickett saw some success down the field
For really the first time all season, Kenny Pickett showed that he can complete more than just one or two big plays down the field. If you look at his passing chart from Next Gen Stats, it was actually quite impressive. The rookie QB connected on 7 of 14 attempts beyond 10 air yards and was 4 of 7 on passes that traveled beyond 20 yards.
This number could have been even better if George Pickens hadn’t dropped a nearly 50-yard pass that was an absolute dime in the fourth quarter. Obviously, Pickett still missed some opportunities down the field. He overthrew Pickens in the middle of the endzone in the first half and was off the mark on a few other passes over the middle of the field. However, this was a big step in the right direction.