Bleacher Report Suggests Pittsburgh Should Start Kenny Pickett Week 1

With social media so prevalent in our everyday lives, we are in an age of instant reaction and hot takes galore when it comes to sports. If a wide receiver makes a crazy play, you will see some calling him a Pro Bowl player based off one singular play. Likewise, if you watch an offensive lineman get destroyed on a pass rush rep and give up a big sack, many will be calling for his head, calling him one of the worst offensive linemen in the league.

Still, instant reactions give us room to look at a situation both in real time as well as allow us to step back and take a larger view of the situation to see if what the perception is in real-time matches up with well thought out logic. After the conclusion of the Week 2 preseason slate, Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton posted an article highlighting seven takeaways, including how Pittsburgh Steelers QB Kenny Pickett has played himself to be the favorite to become the team’s starting quart back for the regular season.

“Pickett has played well in consecutive weeks to showcase himself in an open quarterback competition,” said Moton. “Through two exhibition contests, he’s thrown for 171 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. As a rookie first-rounder on par with veteran competition at his position, Pickett has done enough to earn serious consideration to start for the regular season, even though he didn’t open any of the preseason games with the first stringers. Pittsburgh should allow him to learn on the job rather than roll with one of its two bridge-gap quarterbacks in Week 1.”

The plan all along was for Pickett to sit and learn behind Mitch Trubisky, who has long been regarded as the favorite to win the starting job. However, after a rocky start to training camp, Pickett has been quickly ascending in his play on the field, stringing together strong practices at training camp and showing poise, accuracy, and leadership in Pittsburgh’s last two preseason contests. He led the team down the field in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks to score the go-ahead TD with three seconds left, and did the same thing last night against the Jacksonville Jaguars, getting the ball with under two minutes left in the half and executing a near-flawless drive which resulted in a TD to Benny Snell.

While Trubisky didn’t get a fair shake last night due to the poor play of the offensive line, Moton is right when saying that Pickett has squarely played himself into contention for the starting job. He may have played against second and third string units in his first outing against Seattle, but he managed to do the same against a bunch of first-string defenders on Jacksonville’s defense, leading the first team offense down the field while showing great poise and composure in the pocket in the two-minute drill the get the score before halftime.

Pickett has surely impressed his coaches and teammates, Steelers fans, and NFL fans in general the last two weeks. Whether or not you believe he should be the opening day starter against the Cincinnati Bengals is one thing, but he certainly has played himself at least into the conversation. The state of the offensive line will often be the topic of debate as to whether you throw Pickett out there to start, but given the fact that he has at least matched or surpassed the play of both Trubisky and Rudolph in two preseason games, Kenny Pickett is squarely in contention to earn the starting job.

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