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‘Don’t Buy’: NFL Analyst Buries Steelers Hype



Steelers Kenny Pickett

The Steelers’ hype machine is turning faster than ever, with the team receiving tons of love from analysts and pundits after a strong preseason. But not everyone buys that Pittsburgh will suddenly improve and take a jump—Bill Barnwell of ESPN doubts that the team can continue the momentum.

Appearing on NFL Live, Barnwell broke down his main concerns, which include the unsustainable turnover rate they boasted down the stretch last year and doubts that the Kenny Pickett hype this preseason is accurate. Barnell sees the team regressing from 2022.

“I have a couple of reasons to believe they will not be as good as they’ve been in the preseason but also not as good as they were during the second half of last season,” Barnwell said. “The Tomlin prophecy continued because they stopped turning the ball over. They turned the ball over just five times in their nine games after the bye. Now, if you’re Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, maybe you can sustain that. But Kenny Pickett is still a young player that holds the ball for a long time and takes a bunch of sacks. I don’t buy that they can avoid turnovers in that way. Then when you add the defense and the offense was the healthiest team in football last year together, I don’t think they can sustain it.”

The point that the Steelers will not sustain that turnover rate and the overall health of the team is probably true. However, Barnwell ignores Pittsburgh’s additions and says Pickett could improve to make that rate more sustainable. The Steelers play a style of offense where their turnovers will naturally be depressed thanks to a heavy, run-first offense. Of course, there are reasons to think Pittsburgh is certainly not as good as they were in the preseason, but it is hard to buy into the reasoning for Barnwell here fully.

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