Kenny Pickett earns remarkable grade vs Colts despite mixed reviews
Kenny Pickett may have had a pedestrian stat line against the Colts, but Pro Football Focus thought the Steelers QB had a tremendous game.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had many problems with their offense this year, but consistency is among the biggest. After an impressive first half that included 13 points in the second quarter, Matt Canada’s offense fell flat — scoring just 8 points in the second half.
Fortunately, the Steelers were able to hang on to secure the victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football. Kenny Pickett deserves a lot of the credit for this.
In the first half, Pickett was remarkable — completing 14 of 18 passes for 133 yards, via ESPN stats. By the end of the game, the Steelers rookie QB did something that not even Patrick Mahomes or Jalen Hurts was able to do this year: he recorded more than 17 points against the Colts on the road (24, to be exact).
Some of the throws that Pickett made were not easy either. With pressure barreling down at times, the first-year quarterback displayed his poise and accuracy with some crucial 3rd-down conversions. His most impressive throw on the night went to George Pickens on 3rd in 9 when he drive the ball past the sticks over the middle of the field despite immediately taking a blow to the head after the ball was released.
Because of some of these big-time throws, Pro Football Focus was very kind to Kenny Pickett in his Week 12 grade against the Colts:
Pickett ultimately graded out as the second-best quarterback this week, and he earned the best single-game grade of any Steelers quarterback since Ben Roethlisberger in Week 10 of 2018. His 88.5 grade was certainly impressive, but was it warranted?
Steelers QB deserved a high grade despite mixed reviews
It seems like there are two types of fans when it comes to quarterback, Kenny Pickett. Some fans feel he can do no wrong, while others look for ways to drive his reputation into the ground. As always, I’ll try to do my best to evaluate as objectively as possible.
After re-watching the Steelers game for a second time, I wasn’t nearly as hard on Pickett as I was the first time around. Though the second half was far from ideal (6 of 10 for 41 yards), much of this wasn’t the rookie’s fault. Two big drops by George Pickens kept the chains from moving, while Canada’s offense got too conservative at times in the second half.
Though Pickett did have a few inaccurate passes, the overall sample was pretty good. What is concerning, however, is that he ranks dead last in the league in yards per attempt and adjusted yards per attempt. These are numbers that clearly need to improve to have consistent success.
The box score was not pretty for Pickett at the end of the game. He finished with 174 yards and 6.2 yards per attempt to go with an 87.5 passer rating. But this is why it’s so important to evaluate the film.
Kenny Pickett still has a long way to go to prove that he is the franchise quarterback who could lead this team back to a Super Bowl, but I do think his game against the Colts was a step in the right direction. Despite the mixed reviews of his performance, I think this was the best game of his young career so far.