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Kenny Pickett Not Only AFC North Quarterback Who Looked Awful



Steelers Kenny Pickett

There’s no doubt about it, Kenny Pickett had an awful performance in the Steelers’ 30-7 opening day loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Acrisure Stadium. He finished 31 of 46 for 232 yards, with one touchdown, two interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 68.4. He was also sacked five times.

Pickett did not look like the cool, calm and collected quarterback that he showcased during the preseason. He might have even looked worse than any point during his rookie season last year. He seemed rattled by the 49ers’ vaunted defense, as his progressions were sloppy and his passes were often off target. He wasn’t seeing the field well at all. It was definitely an afternoon that Kenny Pickett would like to forget.

Pickett wasn’t the only quarterback in the AFC North to have a brutal Week 1 performance, however, as Joe Burrow of the Bengals mustered just 82 yards passing in Cincinnati’s 24-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns at First Energy Stadium. Surprisingly, Burrow is 1-5 in his career against the Browns and he’s never won in Cleveland.

Burrow became the highest-paid player in NFL history on Thursday, but he looked nothing like it against Cleveland. His passing yards (82) and passer rating (52.2) were both career-lows. The longest play through the air on the day was a 12-yard reception by Ja’Marr Chase on Cincinnati’s opening drive. The Bengals finished with just six first downs and were 2 of 15 on third down.

With the game out of reach, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor pulled Burrow from the game with five minutes to go, replacing him with backup Jake Browning for the final two drives of the game.

“Nobody is panicking in here,” Burrow said after the game. “Week 1 doesn’t define anyone’s season. Obviously, not very good. Anybody that watched saw that. We’ve been in this spot before and we’ve come back stronger and had great years, so that’s what we’re going to do.”

Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson got the win but his stat line was nothing to write home about, completing 16 of 29 passes for 154 yards with one touchdown, one interception and a quarterback rating of 67.3. Watson’s interception was absolutely atrocious, too.

Lamar Jackson of the Ravens had the best afternoon of all the AFC North quarterbacks, but he didn’t light up the stat sheet, either. Jackson was 17 of 22 for 169 yards with no touchdowns, one interception and a quarterback rating of 79.5 in the Ravens’ 25-9 win over the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium. Jackson also rushed for 38 yards on six carries.

Jackson’s Ravens will take on Burrow’s Bengals in Cincinnati on Sunday, while Watson and the Browns will meet Pickett and the Steelers on Monday Night Football at Acrisure Stadium. It will be interesting to see how the AFC North quarterbacks rebound after woeful Week 1 performances.

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