Kenny Pickett will bounce back
Coming off perhaps his worst game as the Steelers quarterback, Kenny Pickett has to bounce back or it’s going to be a long game.
Despite a stat line that said he was 31-of-46 (67.4%) for 232 yards and a TD, Pickett inexplicably looked “off” last week, missing several opportunities in the game. Maybe it was the sack — one of five that he suffered in the game — on the first drive that rattled him, or his two interceptions, or maybe it was just the shock of playing such a great defense that was the culprit.
Things don’t get much easier this week against the Browns. Myles Garrett and company held Joe Burrow and the Bengals to just six first downs and 142 yards of total offense last Sunday. Granted, the contest was Burrow’s first since suffering his pre-season injury and was played in a heavy downpour for much of the day, making the passing game difficult.
But the Browns’ defense looked great, headlined by the play from defensive backs Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome, Grant Delpit, and Rodney McLeod.
Now, Pickett must find a way to get the Steelers offense back on track without his number-one receiver, Diontae Johnson, who is out for a few weeks with a hamstring injury. Second-year sensation George Pickens is the obvious guy who Pickett will look to, but the Browns know that too.
Look for Pickett to target tight ends Pat Freiermuth, Darnell Washington, and even Connor Heyward in an effort to spread the ball around with high-percentage passes on Monday night.