3 negative takeaways (and 1 positive takeaway) from Steelers disgusting loss vs 49ers

San Francisco 49ers v Pittsburgh Steelers
San Francisco 49ers v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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Negative takeaway No. 3: Kenny Pickett's disappointing performance is cause for concern

Pickett doesn't deserve 100 percent blame for the Steelers' lackluster play Sunday, but his performance was disappointing. After finishing the 2022 season on a high note, the Steelers' franchise quarterback took a step back, looking like the Kenny Pickett from the first half of his rookie campaign.

Pickett was off target on numerous passes and was intercepted twice, with a third pass that should have been picked off and returned for a touchdown. Pickett finished the day with an egregious passer rating of 68.4.

San Francisco's defense was one of the best in the league in 2022, and they seem to be just as good in 2023. A poor week 1 performance isn't enough to give up on Pickett, but his inaccuracy and decision-making were unacceptable on Sunday. The 49ers are as menacing of a defense as a young quarterback can get when trying to dial in for the regular season.

When an offensive group gets dominated like the Steelers did, it is difficult to evaluate a player's performance. The running game was absent, the offensive line failed the quarterback, and the receivers found barely any separation in the secondary. Bouncing back in week 2 is a must for Pickett to avoid losing any confidence and progress he may have developed over the last six months.