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PFF Highlights Play Of Pickett, Jack In “One Up, One Down” Grades For Week 12

With wins in two of their last three games, and another very winnable one on tap this Sunday in Atlanta, it appears the Steelers have finally turned a corner in what thus far has been a disappointing season. Coincidentally all of this has occurred after the return of the reigning DPOY and stud pass rusher T.J. Watt back in the fold after being on the shelf since sustaining a pectoral injury week one.

Another bright spot lately has been the play of rookie first-round quarterback Kenny Pickett. After tossing eight picks in his first five games, some of which weren’t entirely his fault, he has added stability to his game, not throwing a single interception in the entire month of November. Only four other QB’s in the league can say the same, including Jimmy G, Mac Jones and Tua Tagovailoa.

To no surprise, Pickett was the player Doug Kyed at PFF.com highlighted for in his “One Up, One Down” exercise for week 12, namely due to his 86.3 passing grade in the team’s 24-17 victory on Monday Night Football over Indy in what was far and away his best performance of his rookie season thus far.

“Pickett posted career highs with an 88.5 offensive grade and 86.3 passing grade in Monday night’s win over the Colts,” Kyed wrote according to PFF.com. “He made one big-time throw and zero turnover-worthy plays while competing 20-of-28 passes for 174 yards.”

Although his stat line reads a lot like an empty-calorie soda with no touchdowns, it’s very encouraging to see his efficiency going up and turnovers going way down. Despite what the nay-sayers may argue, Pickett has shown a lot of the qualities of a franchise QB in the NFL and having an Offensive Coordinator like Matt Canada hasn’t done him any favors.

In his “One Down” listing, Kyed highlights the play of inside linebacker Myles Jack, who earned a measly 41.1 grade in coverage. Jack is currently the team’s tackling leader with 88 stops on the year.

“Jack was Pittsburgh’s lowest-graded defender. He missed a tackle, let up four catches on four targets for 40 yards in coverage and was flagged for holding,” Kyed said.

Jack was exposed in coverage several times Monday evening by the 6-foot-7 Colts rookie tight end Jelani Woods, and as Kyed said, was flagged for pass interference when he basically bear-hugged Woods coming out of his route. Luckily for him, the Falcons won’t have their freak-of-nature tight end Kyle Pitts available Sunday, as he’s similar in stature to Woods, and this obviously would be something the Atlanta coaches picked up on.

Do you agree with Kyed’s nominations of the two aforementioned players or do you feel another player should’ve been highlighted? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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