George Pickens became a hugely controversial topic of discussion following the Pittsburgh Steelers' Week loss against the Indianapolis Colts. The second-year receiver went viral for showing zero effort on a block that would have resulted in a Jaylen Warren touchdown.
Because of his severe lack of effort on the field and less-than-ideal responses to tough questions from Steelers media this week, many were calling for Mike Tomlin to bench the talented wide receiver early in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals this week to send a message that his behavior won't be tolerated.
Perhaps it's a good reason Tomlin chose not to sit his most dynamic playmaker.
On the very first pass attempt by quarterback Mason Rudolph, George Pickens took a deep post for an 86-yard touchdown. Pickens pulled away from slower defensive backs and did most of his damage after the catch.
George Pickens and Mason Rudolph have Steelers fans on their feet
This was a remarkable play that flashed the upside of the former Georgia star and five-star recruit. At 6'3'' and roughly 200 pounds, Pickens should not be able to move the way that he does. This one play energized the crowd in Pittsburegh's final home game of 2023 and helped the Steelers jump out to a 7-0 lead very early in the game.
Rudolph also deserves credit for delivering a bullet in stride to his receiver on the post route -- something both Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky failed to do routinely this year. After the Steelers' first and second-string quarterbacks have struggled to put points on the board, perhaps Rudolph could give them the spark they need.
On this one pass play from Mason Rudolph to George Pickens, the Steelers showed more promise on offense than they have all season. Pittsburgh might be 7-7 entering Week 16 but don't count them out just yet. With their backs against the wall, this team looks fired up. Stay tuned!