Despicable stat comparison shows why Steelers are in dire need of a QB upgrade

This stat comparison is an brutal indictment on the Steelers' offense.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills / Timothy T Ludwig/GettyImages

Enough is enough. When a team averages 16.9 offensive points per game, it's hard to believe that the offensive coordinator was the only issue. The Pittsburgh Steelers fired Matt Canada in November of the 2023 regular season, and fans were optimistic that things would turn around with Kenny Pickett.

The former first-round quarterback instantly led the team to their first 400-yard performance on offense that they had seen in years... but his team was still only able to put up 16 points in the win against the Bengals.

After Pickett sustained an ankle injury, it was Mason Rudolph who led the Steelers down the stretch, and his performance was competent enough that Pickett didn't get his job back despite being deemed healthy and practicing with his team.

Despite the draft capital used to acquire Pickett, most fans have seen enough after two seasons and realize that it's time to move on. However, that isn't the direction the Steelers reportedly want to go.

The latest statistical comparison shows just how comically incompetent the offense has been. B/R Gridiron posted a graphic showing a harsh reality -- that T.J. Watt has accumulated more sacks over the past two years than all Steelers quarterbacks have touchdown passes during that same span.

Look, we all know how utterly dominant T.J. Watt has been. But the low passing touchdown numbers burns all the more when you recall that Watt missed nearly half of the 2022 season.

I don't care how dominant a pass rusher is; at no point should your top defensive player ever have more sacks than your entire QB room has touchdown passes.

This is another testament to just how poor the quarterback play has been in Pittsburgh. Some fans were livid that Mason Rudolph's picture was used for this graphic. But why not? Kenny Pickett has started most of the games for the Steelers over the past two seasons but has only accounted for 13 touchdown passes -- a dismal touchdown rate of 1.9. This is currently the worst mark in NFL history.

Steelers are unwilling to upgrade the QB position (but they should)

But Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan still believe in Pickett, and they have made it clear that he is still their QB1 for the 2024 season. As fans, we have the right to question this decision.

Based on growth trends, Pickett would be a historic outlier if he suddenly emerged as a franchise quarterback after two despicable seasons to begin his career. Entering Year 3, Pickett possesses a career passer rating of just 78.8 to go with a cringeworthy 5.8 adjusted yards per attempt, per Pro Football Reference. Both of these numbers are scraping the bottom of the barrel when compared to starting NFL quarterbacks.

I'm not suggesting that there is some magical fix for the Pittsburgh Steelers floating out there that instantly makes this team a Super Bowl contender, but putting 'full faith' in Kenny Pickett seems like a colossal mistake after what we've witnessed in his first two seasons.

Showing the touchdown passes of Kenny Pickett, Mich Trubisky, and Mason Rudolph next to the sack numbers of T.J. Watt (who landed on IR with a pectoral tear in 2022) is truly comical. This team needs to get serious about improving the most important position in sports.