Steelers’ Kenny Pickett set to remain starting QB: Rookie hopes to build record debut

While he would surely trade it for a win, Kenny Pickett nonetheless made history on his regular season debut. pickette, who should make his first career start when the Steelers travel to Buffalo on Sunday, set two records in his regular season debut last weekend against the Jets.

The Steelers’ first-round pick became the first quarterback in NFL history to run for two touchdowns on his debut (h/t Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette). He also set an NFL record for throwing the most passes in a game (13) without one touching the ground. via ESPN statistics and information.

Pickett replaced Mitch Trubisky early in the second half of Sunday’s game against the Jets. His 1-yard touchdown gave the Steelers a 13-10 lead midway through the third quarter. His 2-yard score on Pittsburgh’s possession gave the home team a 10-point lead with 13:36 left.

With the Steelers’ lead looking secure, the Jets eventually rallied to spoil Pickett’s party. After Zach Wilson led a scoring Jets drive that cut their deficit to three points, New York took the lead for good on a score that was set by Michael Carter II’s interception of Pickett on a intended pass. to tight end Pat Freiermuth.

Pickett finished the game with 102 yards on 10 of 13 passes. Pickett threw three interceptions, hence his NFL record of not having a rushing pass. His first choice came on his first attempt, a deep throw to Chase Claypool which was correlated by Jordan Whitehead after Claypool was unable to secure the pass. His third pick came on a Hail Mary to end the game.

It wasn’t perfect, but Pickett showed promise on his debut. He led the Steelers on arguably their best drive of the season yet, a 12-game, 82-yard drive that culminated in his second touchdown. Pickett showed tenacity on the drive when he completed an 18-yard strike to Freiermuth on a third-and-8 play despite being beaten by Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams.

“It’s not hard,” Pickett said when asked to make a hard throw. “It’s in the job description. It is what it is. I’m a quarterback. It’s my job. So, I told those guys, I’ll stay there. I don’t care. I know they’ll get it’s good My job is to stay there and make them.

With Freiermuth, Pickett developed a quick relationship with fellow rookie George Pickens, who caught six passes for 102 yards on Sunday.

“I feel like the whole crowd was cheering him on,” Pickens said of Pickett after the game. “We were already ready to go. He’s just the next man. We were already ready, though.”

Although Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has yet to make the change official, it’s clear Pickett has the support of his teammates and should be given the green light to start Sunday in Buffalo.

“He gave us a spark,” Freiermuth said, via Josh Rowntree of 93.7 The Fan. “The stadium, the fans, us. He did a great job.”

“When he came in, we were just more efficient,” added receiver Diontae Johnson. “You could see the energy. He played with swag. It makes us want to play for him. We have to improve him and prepare for next week.”

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