Kenny Pickett Sees Steelers Turning Corner After Week 6 Bye

George Pickens Kenny Pickett

Getty Steelers QB Kenny Pickett and WR George Pickens celebrate a touchdown.

The Pittsburgh Steelers heading into their Week 6 bye as winners of three of their last four games could either light a fire under the AFC North co-leaders or put them on ice. Quarterback Kenny Pickett sees their offense igniting with time to build on a strong win over the Baltimore Ravens and clean up their deficiencies.

“We’ve shown flashes. We haven’t put it together for a full game. That’s definitely what you’re hunting,” Pickett told the media on Tuesday, October 10. “We’ve definitely shown flashes of it. We haven’t been consistent, so that’s what we’re fighting to be, a more consistent team.”

When asked about what he’s done best individually throughout the 2023 campaign, Pickett said:

“Give our guys chances to make plays. I think putting guys in one-on-one. Myself, putting the ball out for them and making plays. Getting better at operating the offense, being smooth and putting us in third and manageable situations, working the pocket, continuing to get better there.”

Where Kenny Pickett, Steelers Offense Look Strong

Pickett showed great poise inside and out of the pocket as he dueled with former MVP Lamar Jackson in Week 5.

When scrambling and looking for open receivers downfield, Pickett’s footwork was backed up by an accurate touch in completing passes to the sidelines. Pickett went 18-of-32 on the day, with wideout George Pickens feasting for 130 receiving yards on 6 receptions.

Pickett delivered when it mattered most in the pocket and overcame the team’s 40% third-down conversion rate with two straight third-down completions to Allen Robinson and Pickens before his on-the-money throw to Pickens for the game-sealing TD.

Steelers Ground Game Must Say Bye to TD Drought

Pittsburgh’s backfield could use a slap on the rear to catch fire in the end zone, as they failed to score a rushing touchdown yet again. Steelers fans have the right to be frustrated with their team’s running game, which is one of two teams in the league to not have a rushing touchdown yet.

Pickett fed his rushers 24 times and two big 16-yard gains were all the cause for applause in Week 5, and little to be celebrated for a team that cannot manage better than 3.4 yards per carry.

Pickett’s mild-mannered and pragmatic approach with the media will need to be flipped along with his ball carriers during their time off, and he understands this good and well.

More intensity will be required to diversify the offense and create more opportunities for opposing defenses to come forward and allow Pickett to get his receivers one-on-one looks in single coverage.

Najee Harris is piling on yards (23rd in the league with 247 yards), but he and the entire Steelers backfield need that run-through-a-wall mentality to fend off the Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals in a tight divisional race.

Steelers Can Borrow From Last Season’s Break in Action

If 2023 is anything like 2022, the Steelers have reason to feel confident in their outlook after their layoff.

Last season, the coldest day in Pittsburgh might’ve been January 27 on the weather report, but on the gridiron, all hope looked lost after the Philadelphia Eagles delivered a 35-13 beatdown to them on October 30 preceding their Week 9 bye.

The Steelers went 7-2 to end the year and the running game picked up their play in the process. A rearview mirror is all the offense needs to continue to progress and not fall by the wayside.

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