Kenny Pickett Ranks Bottom Third Of The League In Failed Completion Percentage

The Pittsburgh Steelers passing offense in 2022 was rather limited, with a lot of quick passes and dump-offs. As a result, quarterback Kenny Pickett ranked 24th out of 33 qualified passers in “failed completion” percentage, with 28.6% of his completions qualifying as failed, according to Football Outsiders data.

Per Football Outsiders, “A failed completion is any completed pass that fails to gain 45% of needed yards on first down, 60% on second down, or 100% on third or fourth down.” Of Pickett’s 245 completions, 70 qualified as failed. Only two quarterbacks who led their team to the playoffs ranked lower than Pickett, with Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert coming in at No. 26 with a 29.8% failed completion percentage, with a whopping 142 of his completions being failed. That came just two shy of the all-time record of 144 failed completions which was set by Joe Flacco, then with the Baltimore Ravens in 2017. New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones also had a failed completion percentage of 28.7%, just 0.1% higher than Pickett to place him at No. 24 on the list.

It’s clear that the Steelers passing offense needs to expand and become more vertical in 2023. But given that Pickett was a rookie quarterback operating in a new offense, it’s not all that surprising that a lot of his completions were short passes or dump-offs. It’s pretty cut and dry though that the quarterbacks with a lower amount of failed completions are ones who find more postseason success. Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs led the NFL with the lowest failed completion percentages, with Allen coming in at No. 1 at 15.3% and Mahomes at No. 2 with 17%.

While there are outliers (Andy Dalton ranked No. 8 and Marcus Mariota ranked No. 6), generally a lower failed completion percentage equates to more success. So while it’s not that big of a deal that Pickett landed where he did this year, and a lot of that can be attributed to Pittsburgh’s offense, they have to let him cut loose a little bit more next year with more of a vertical offense.

If Pickett is able to successfully take more shots downfield next year, the Steelers’ offense is going to be better. Hopefully, a healthy Calvin Austin III at wide receiver opens up another speed and downfield element for the Steelers’ offense and Pickett can take a big step forward in year two when it comes to pushing the ball downfield. If not, it could be another difficult season on the offensive side of the ball for the Steelers.

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