The Pittsburgh Steelers made a long-awaited change at quarterback Sunday, replacing Mitch Trubisky with rookie Kenny Pickett in the second half against the New York Jets.
Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, the Jets managed to steal a 24-20 road win with a late touchdown, but Pickett's gutsy effort in his first NFL action should not be overshadowed.
The 24-year-old looked comfortable and injected some energy into the Steelers offense in the second half. Pickett scored on two rushing touchdowns to give Pittsburgh a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. However, he had some trouble in the passing game as he threw three interceptions.
Pickett's first career pass was picked off on a tipped ball. He then threw another pick in the fourth quarter that allowed New York to put together a late touchdown drive. Pickett's Hail Mary attempt was then picked off in the end zone as time expired.
While Pickett had an up-and-down performance, he did enough to earn some praise from fans on social media who are excited to see what he can do as the full-time starter.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had previously maintained that he planned on sticking with the veteran Trubisky, but he made the right decision by switching to Pickett. While Tomlin wouldn't commit to starting him next week, it should be clear to him that Pickett is the better option over Trubisky.
Pittsburgh's offense was lifeless before the rookie signal-caller breathed new life into it. The home crowd at Acrisure Stadium was also energized by his presence.
A full commitment to Pickett going forward should help the Steelers as they try to climb out of a 1-3 hole. Pittsburgh will return to action next Sunday against the Buffalo Bills (3-1).