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Steelers Week Four Recap

Tons of news to report on this week, the Pittsburgh Steelers lose a heartbreaker to the New York Jets in the 4th quarter. We saw both positives and negatives in Week Four, let’s go over them.

A Heart Breaker

The Pittsburgh Steelers played Sunday against the New York Jets at Acrisure Stadium. I quoted this being a “must-win” for the Pittsburgh Steelers if they wanted to compete later on down the road in the season. Unfortunately, we saw the Jets come back down 20-10 in the 4th quarter scoring two touchdowns, their last touchdown was scored with 16 seconds left in the 4th to take the lead 24-20.

The Steelers were staring an even record straight in the eyes and let it slip through their hands. There are multiple people to blame for the loss. The defense still can’t put a complete game together despite having the lead late in the game. TJ Watt has proven that this defense is focused around him and relies on him heavily every game.

A New Era In Pittsburgh

A regular theme has always been a very slow start for the Pittsburgh Steelers offense and it did not change Sunday. The Steelers scored a total of six points in the whole first half. Chris Boswell accounted for two field goals, both 50+ yarders including a record-tying 59-yard field goal at Acrisure Stadium (Heinz Field’s history books included).

Fortunately for the Steelers, Mike Tomlin made an executive decision for the franchise and decided to go ahead and place the future in the starting role. Kenny Pickett started the 2nd half of Sunday’s game and he was electric. The pass was a DEEP ball to Chase Claypool that was tipped around and intercepted.

Here's Kenny Pickett's first INT intended for Chase Claypool. — Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) October 3, 2022

Even after the interception, you could tell there was still life in the offense. Minkah Fitzpatrick eventually intercepted a pass on the Jets’ next drive and brought the ball back inside the four-yard line. It took three tries but on third and goal the Steelers run a ‘Kenny Keeper’ and sneak in for a touchdown.

Kenny Pickett first TD as a #Steeler — Barstool Yinzers (@BarstoolBurgh) October 2, 2022

On the very next drive, Kenny Pickett drove this offense down 82 yards for another touchdown that he ran in. However, from that point on he did throw two interceptions that would eventually hurt the Steelers. Kenny Pickett went 10-13 for 120 yards and three interceptions.

In Kenny Pickett’s three-interception game, I think honestly one interception can be to blame for Pickett. His very first throw I believe you could blame him for an interception, It was an under-thrown ball and it was double covered. A huge statistics website called PFF put out that Pickett had ‘Zero’ turnover-worthy plays which mean they believe he was not to blame for any of the interceptions.

Kenny Pickett officially had 3 INTs in his NFL debut, but PFF charted him with *ZERO* turnover-worthy plays. 71.6 passing grade for the rookie 💪 — PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) October 3, 2022

A Defensive Debate

The defense did not look terrible on Sunday, they forced Wilson into throwing 2 interceptions. They also held the Jets’ rushing attack to 3.4 yards per rush, this was also the lowest total yards given up this season so far at 348 yards.

Now on to some of the negatives on Sunday. When I say negative, I mean it most scarcely. Games without T.J. Watt the Steelers now have an 0-7 record, a huge blemish on the defensive resume. At this point I truly believe that T.J. Watt should be the ‘Defensive Player of The Year’ every year, this just shows how valuable he truly is to this team.

An evergreen tweet. The #Steelers are now 0-7 without TJ Watt. TJ Watt is the best player in the NFL. — Mike Nicastro (@MikedUpSports1) October 2, 2022

The turnovers from the offense played a part in the number of points given up. But the defense gave up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and only had one sack in the whole game. Against a young quarterback, I expected more from this defense even with two interceptions, a few more sacks could have put the offense in better positions throughout the game.

Final Thoughts

Going 1-3 instead of 2-2 is a bit discouraging but I think Tomlin showed the entire fan base that he intends to win at any cost which is music to a fan’s ears. The entire stadium erupted when Kenny Pickett walked out to take the snaps after halftime, and even in a loss, you can tell the Steelers’ fans are anxious for next Sunday to see how the rookie quarterback does with a week of first-team reps.

<img class="lazyload" decoding="async" src=";ssl=1" alt="Steelers Kenny Pickett throwing a pass in his first regular season game" width="543" height="302" data-recalc-dims="1" />

(Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

I want to touch on the Mitch Trubisky benching for a second. In my opinion, a change needed to be made, But I think it was made prematurely. With a brutal schedule coming up I’m getting the feeling we are throwing Kenny Pickett to the wolves and hoping he comes out leading the pack. Don’t get me wrong Kenny Pickett was electric and this team was rejuvenated when he entered the game but his career and his mental constitution are worth more than a Week four victory against the Jets.

T.J. Watt couldn’t be needed any more than he is at this very moment. With a very tough couple of offensive juggernauts, this defense is going to be asked to do a lot more than usual. With Kenny Pickett reported to take over the helm, I do think the defense has more leeway than in recent weeks. It will be interesting to see the combination of Pickett at quarterback and this defense against high-quality quarterback play.



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