Kenny Pickett had a strong start against the Colts, but the Pittsburgh Steelers offense isn’t close to being a strong unit due to their lack of consistency.
I feel like Kenny Pickett does this to us just about every game. He will flash signs of a great NFL quarterback with a handful of very impressive plays, but the overall sample would leave a lot to be desired. This was the case last week against the Cincinnati Bengals when Pittsburgh’s offense fell apart in the second half.
Sadly, this seems to be a trend when it comes to the Steelers. In the first half against the Indianapolis Colts, Pickett certainly showed both poise and promise. He started off with a strong first drive that ultimately stalled as Pittsburgh settled for a field goal. In the second quarter, however, he strung together 13 offensive points and had an outstanding 35-yard pass to George Pickens on the sideline. This was in addition to a few impressive darts on the sideline.
Entering the tunnel, Pickett had a very respectable stat line of 14/18 for 133 yards — good for 7.4 yards per attempt, per ESPN stats. The team’s 16 points in the first half were more than they averaged offensively leading up to their Week 9 bye. However, the offense would do a complete one-eighty in the second half.
In quarter three, a Pickett-led offense stalled on each of their first two drives after earning just 17 yards. This resulted in a scoreless 3rd quarter for Pittsburgh while the Colts went on a 14-0 run. The Steelers did manage one fourth-quarter touchdown that would ultimately help seal a 24-17 victory, but the second-half performance wasn’t exactly pretty.
Steelers must be more consistent on offense
I will say that the inconsistencies with Steelers offense on Monday Night Football didn’t all fall on Kenny Pickett. There were dropped passes, predictable plays, and poor play design from Matt Canada. However, Pickett does deserve his share of the blame as well.
After slinging the ball with confidence in the first half, Pickett settled for more check-downs in quarters three and four. There were also at least two occasions throughout the game I noticed where he missed wide-open slants across the middle of the field in favor of throwing a swing pass to his safety valve underneath.
The missed opportunities and lack of big plays in the second half ultimately plummeted his respectable statistical outing to the point where the rookie quarterback managed just 174 yards and 6.2 yards per attempt by the end of the game. This means that Pickett was able to muster up just 41 passing yards in the final two quarters of play.
Much of this falls on the second-half game plan, but this simply isn’t acceptable, and it’s something that must be addressed. Pittsburgh needs to keep up the same intensity in the second half, and that simply hasn’t been the case.
Kenny Pickett’s rookie season has proven to be one big rollercoaster ride, and the statistics haven’t been nearly good enough. A performance like this might work against a team like the Indianapolis Colts, but it would not get the job done against a good team.
The Pittsburgh Steelers need to go back to the drawing board and try to get these issues figured out. Pickett had a somewhat respectable game, but that didn’t reflect in his pedestrian stat line. The whole offense simply must be more consistent.