Heading into this season, many believed that Kenny Pickett had the potential to take a Trevor Lawrence-type of leap and throw at least 20 touchdown passes. That has certainly not been the case through 10 games, as Pickett has a jarring 6-4 touchdown-interception ratio. He has thrown just two touchdowns in the last seven games. Undrafted rookie out of Syracuse Tommy DeVito has just as many touchdown passes in three starts for the New York Giants.
Pickett is heading in the wrong direction in regards to touchdown passes and overall play. It’s been so bad that he set an NFL record that has never been reached in over half a century. According to NFL on CBS, 315 quarterbacks have 500 pass attempts since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. Only Pickett has thrown a touchdown on fewer than 2% of his attempts (1.9%).
Pickett had another dreadful performance on Sunday in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 13-10 loss to the Browns in Cleveland, completing 15 of 28 passes (53.6%) for 106 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 62.5. He averaged just 3.5 yards per attempt, his lowest of the season.
315 QBs have 500 pass attempts since the merger
Only one has thrown a touchdown on fewer than 2% of his attempts
Kenny Pickett (1.9%) pic.twitter.com/TOxFF6Bqlp
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) November 19, 2023
There’s no doubt about it, the Steelers need more out of their quarterback right now. The numbers are definitely not pretty. He has thrown multiple touchdowns in a game just once in 22 career starts (two touchdowns against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 3). He’s thrown over 300 yards just once in his career and his highest passing yardage this season is 235 yards. Only Zach Wilson and Sam Darnold have a worse passer rating than Pickett’s 77.7 rating since 2021 (minimum 500 attempts).
Pickett has been impressive late in games with seven game-winning drives and six fourth-quarter comebacks in his career, but he needs to be more consistent in the first three quarters. It will eventually catch up and it did on Sunday with his fourth-quarter magic being nowhere to be found.
It’s hard to win in the NFL with a quarterback averaging 172.2 yards per game. Pickett’s turned into a game manager, and that’s obviously not ideal for a first-round pick.