Steelers QB report card: Kenny Pickett saved by his run game, defense

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett / Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers offense had yet another up-and-down day against the Packers this week, and a big reason for that was the poor play of QB Kenny Pickett. They managed to score 23 points despite a rough day from Pickett thanks to a dominant rushing attack for the second week in a row. It was just enough to get the 23-19 victory.

Despite the victory, it’s hard to feel satisfied with the way the passing offense looked. Against a young, struggling team like the Packers you can get away with a mediocre day through the air. When the Steelers schedule heats up at the end of the season, however, they will need much more out of Pickett. Can he deliver?

Kenny Pickett held the Steelers offense back against the Packers

I have been trying to give Kenny Pickett the benefit of the doubt this season, mostly because of Matt Canada’s horrendous passing scheme. While I still think Canada is a big problem, Pickett is not executing the offense well enough to simply blame the play calling.

One of the traits that I thought Pickett had going for him was his play extension and ability to throw on the move. Those traits have not shown themselves nearly enough this season, and his pocket presence has gotten even worse at times compared to his rookie campaign.

If Pickett can’t make plays out of structure, then he has to at least start being more aggressive instead of checking down almost every play. I know how important protecting the ball is to Mike Tomlin, but what’s the point of doing that if you also can’t score? There is a balance between the two that has been missing for years.

Next. Steelers pull off win vs. Packers, but the Kenny Pickett problem is getting worse. Steelers pull off win vs. Packers, but the Kenny Pickett problem is getting worse. dark

All those concerns were on display against the Packers. Pickett had one of the least productive full games of his career, finishing 14 of 23 for just 126 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. This kind of production is unacceptable with the weapons the Steelers have at their disposal. If Pickett can’t find some type of rhythm before the end of the year, Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan may need to look at other options regardless of their record. 

Grade: D