Steelers rookie Kenny Pickett had a rough start but he’s been shutting up his haters since the bye week and one stat backs that up.
A 2-6 start to the 2022 season wasn’t exactly what anyone in Pittsburgh had in mind for the post-Ben Roethlisberger era.
The best news for Steelers fans is it seems like the worst is behind them.
That’s because they’ve slogged through the growing pains with rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett and now it looks like he’s turned a corner.
Need proof? He has the second-longest streak of passes without an interception in the NFL at the moment.
Kenny Pickett hasn’t thrown an interception in four games
Pickett threw eight interceptions in his first five games for the Steelers. His quarterback rating was 66.8. He had just two touchdown passes. He averaged 192.4 yards per game and 5.83 yards per attempt.
In the last four games since the bye, Pickett has protected the ball while focusing on not losing the game. It’s worked. He’s averaging 208.75 yards per game and 6.52 yards per attempt. He’s thrown two touchdowns, so he hasn’t been prolific, but his quarterback rating has risen to 85.9.
The marginal difference has proved he can lead this team to victories, going 3-1 in this most recent stretch. The one loss was a seven-point loss to the Bengals.
Charlie Batch broke down the difference for Pickett as the season has gone on.
“The game has slowed down for him,” Batch said on 937 The Fan. “It used to be 1st read and if it wasn’t there he’d run. Now he’s studying his 2nd read, 3rd, and sometimes 4th read. That’s when you go from pretty good to pretty damn good.”
In the long run, sacrificing the 2022 season might pay off. Getting Pickett settled in the offense is the first step towards being a contender in the future.