Kenny Pickett: Game 4 Grade

Kenny Pickett Game Grade
Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

Kenny Pickett is now the starting quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. How Pickett performs is the biggest story in the Steel City from this point forward. For the rest of the season I’ll be grading Pickett’s performances for each game. Reminder – these posts are just grading the individual game each week. This is not a season-long grade or an indication if Pickett is “The Guy”. Welcome to – Kenny Pickett: Game Grade.

October 30th – Philadelphia Eagles

Kenny Pickett went 25/38 for 191 yards with no touchdowns and one interception on Sunday against the Eagles. He also ran seven times for 37 yards, had one lost fumble and was sacked six times.

We’ll get into the grade and evaluations but just on paper you can see this was Kenny Pickett’s toughest day. Not only were his own numbers bad, but the number of sacks he took (six) was the same number he had taken all season to that point. The one positive trait to take from this game was Pickett looked good getting out of the pocket and scrambling some. Other than that…it gets rough.

Decision Making

Kenny Pickett’s most redeeming quality in his first handful of snaps was his quick decision making. That skill has unfortunately become a detriment here in his fourth start. Pickett routinely is only looking at his first option and making the throw in that direction without going through his progression. This was evident again Philadelphia – likely because of how strong their pass rush is.

The Eagles defense was able to hone in on Pickett’s initial target early in the game. This led to multiple “turnover worthy” throws. Even though Pickett only threw one interception on the day, there were another two or three that defenders had their hands on.

There is also an opportunity cost to zeroing in on your first target. There were once again multiple instances of Pickett missing throws to other parts of the field in favor of forcing it to his first option.

Pocket Awareness

Sunday was Pickett’s worst day of the year when it comes to pocket awareness. While he has been jittery and quick to leave the pocket all season, Sunday was a case of him not knowing when to escape, or stand tall. Pickett’s tendency to drift back and right in the pocket when under pressure was my number one concern going into the draft. He did that on two of his six sacks, resulting in more yardage lost.

Pickett took a sack on just the team’s third play of the game. From there the tone was set, and Pickett did not know how to respond. The few times he took off and ran with the ball were mostly good plays. But too often he was like a deer in headlights.

Something Pickett needs to work on is moving within the pocket while keeping his eyes down field. When he decides to escape and extend the play, he’s usually OK. But there were a lot of opportunities for him to take a step or two within the pocket and make a throw that he did not take advantage of.


Kenny Pickett was made the starter because the team needed to start scoring points. But Pickett has only led five touchdown drives in the games he’s played this year – and two came in the second half against the New York Jets. Pittsburgh is officially last in the league in points-per-game with 15.

Pickett threw for less than 200 yards for the first time in which he played a complete game. A lot of that was the sacks and scrambles which accounted for 13 drop backs that did not lead to pass attempts. The Steelers also just had three drives go ten plays or more – and one of those drives required a fake punt conversion to do that.

The lack of production also stems from the types of throws being made. 14 of Pickett’s 38 passes were within one yard of the line of scrimmage.

Final Grade: D-

I’m giving Pickett a slightly worse grade than last week. Taking into account the sacks, even less production and just as many turnover worthy plays I don’t see how it isn’t a worse performance. I also would like to see progression in some areas from Pickett from game to game, but for the most part right now he appears to be going backwards.

Lucky for Pickett Pittsburgh is on a bye week. Hopefully that will give him the physical and mental break he needs. The other positive? Pittsburgh has a much easier slate of opponents moving forward. Beginning Week 10 against the New Orleans Saints.

Get the latest sports news via Fantom Sports Industries. Follow us on twitter via @Fantom_sports. Like us on Facebook via Fantom Sports Industries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel via Fantom Sports. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Shop Fantom Sports Industries Merch.

Invest in your favorite athletes like stocks with “Prediction Strike!” Use code FANTOM when you sign up

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Bobby Wagner
Last offseason, the Seahawks cut Bobby Wagner. He signed with the Rams. […]
Champions League Quarterfinals
The Champions League quarter final draws have been made and everyone is […]
Keeping up with the Internationals
Keeping up with the Internationals where there’s updates on Real Madrid players […]
Mark Cuban
After a bizarre inbound sequence during the Maverick’s heartbreaking loss against the […]

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

%d bloggers like this: