Kenny Pickett threw three picks today, but he wasn’t the first Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback to turn the ball over. The first INT came as Mitch Trubisky zinged a slant his way. With a New York Jets’ DT dropping into coverage, it appeared he got a finger on the ball but the pass still skimmed through Johnson’s hands, picked off for the team’s first turnover of the day.
After the game, Johnson talked about the moment.
“Yeah,” he said via The Trib’s Chris Adamski when asked if the pass was tipped. “But I got my hands on it…it is what it is.”
Take a look at the play. A nice defensive disguise and one Pittsburgh probably wasn’t expecting, at least, it didn’t seem like Trubisky was, and a missed chance by Johnson.
Though Johnson has made some ridiculously tough grabs this year, his hands have still been suspect in key moments, like that one Sunday. While it isn’t the easiest play to make, it’s one he’s certainly capable of securing and one that certainly hurt the Steelers. Those are plays #1 receivers have to have. Over the years, the majority of Johnson’s drops have come on slant routes. Add another one to the list.
New York got its first points of the day off the interception, kicking a field goal to go up 3-0. In a game that was decided by just four, a three-point swing like that can be all the difference.
That play was one of four turnovers the Steelers’ offense had on the day and they nearly had another on a Gunner Olszewski muffed punt. Pittsburgh’s offense isn’t built to win even when they turn the ball over once, let alone four times, and it’s one of countless issues this team is facing.
Now, they’ll have the heart of their schedule, starting with the Buffalo Bills next Sunday.