Can Kenny Pickett stop backsliding?
Despite numerous fans coming to his aid and defending him relentlessly, the fact of the matter is that Pickett is struggling for the Steelers right now. While not taking a second-year leap as many expected him to, he has also seemingly regressed as a player and a decision-maker from the end of last season.
His first two weeks have been horrible. He has missed numerous open receivers, stared down his target, and forced balls that he shouldn’t have. For a quarterback who was hailed as “pro-ready” and showed some progress as a rookie, this is not what you want to see happen.
I don’t need Pickett to have some sort of huge game this week despite the fact that the Raiders secondary isn’t that great. He doesn’t need a multi-score, 300-plus-yard performance for me to be happy. Instead, I want a more in-control Pickett who is cutting out the stupid mistakes and managing the game.
Long-term, that won’t be enough, but he needs to get back to at least where he was as a rookie at the end of last season. If not, it won’t matter how this defense plays or the quality of the running game. Pickett is limiting this offense right now, and he needs to get better or else this team will continue to be a mediocre unit.
It has been a poor showing through two weeks of the season for the Steelers. The Raiders post a very beatable opponent though, and Pittsburgh has to capitalize. In order to win, the team will have to answer these four questions by the end of the Sunday night matchup.