How about that? Five years TO THE DAY Mitch Trubisky thought he was about to be the Chicago Bears' franchise QB, he's sent to the pine after a lackluster first 3.5 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers in favor of Kenny Pickett.
You might see Pickett's passing line and think his outing was a disaster. THREE interceptions!?!? Well, the last one was on a Hail Mary with no time on the clock. The beloved former Pitt Panther and rookie first-round pick completed all 10 of his other throws for 120 yards. That he played as well as he did, given that this was his very first attempt, is rather impressive:
Not the best of starts for Kenny P. HOWEVER...once Zach Wilson rifled a ball behind and through the hands of one of his receivers, Pittsburgh picked it off and got the ball back on the doorstep. Who else but Pickett to cash in from one yard out!? Sorry, Najee Harris fantasy owners!
What a beast. A man amongst boys. Yeah, Kenny P and his small hands held onto the pigskin well enough to cross the goal line there! I want him to go full Captain Kirk "YOU LIKE THAT!?" and do some sort of hands gesture when he leads the Steelers to the end zone next.
Unfortunately I don't think he did but guess what? Kenny Pickett still found his way to a second rushing TD! He's putting up, like, post-prime Jerome Bettis numbers down in the scoring zone!
Then we had Pickett make a noob move here to set up the Jets' winning scoring drive:
I can't say I'm thrilled about the news of Trubisky being supplanted as a Bengals guy, because I think ultimately Pickett has to be a better option. It's basic science. Both the INTs Pickett threw were tipped on contested balls, and while the second one was the cardinal sin of throwing late to the outside, it was still catchable. Thus, his debut may look a little uglier than the box score would suggest. Pickett showed the decisiveness and quick processing he flashed int he preseason, already showing he can read the field and hang in the pocket better than Trubisky even at this early stage of his career.
Beyond the obvious negative turnovers, lots of good came from Pickett's spot duty in Week 4. Most important: Mike Tomlin stopped being a stubborn asshole. We'll learn a lot over the next month about Pickett if Tomlin stays the course with him under center. The Steelers' next four games are as follows: at Buffalo, home for Tampa Bay, at Miami and at Philly.
Good luck, Kenny Pickett!