The NFL preseason debut for Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett couldn’t have been scripted much better.
Pickett completed 13-of-15 passes for 95 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions, to go with a 132.6 passer rating, in a 32-25 Steelers victory over the Seattle Seahawks. He added two carries for 16 yards.
And the second touchdown pass — with Tyler Vaughns doing a great job after the catch — served as the game-winner in the final seconds.
Kenny Pickett and the Steelers with a game-winning touchdown in the final seconds! 🏈 pic.twitter.com/G3PTptEtj4
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) August 14, 2022
Pickett also threw a touchdown pass on his first drive.
First preseason drive, first preseason TD for @kennypickett10. 🙌
— NFL (@NFL) August 14, 2022
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 14, 2022
(You can see every Pickett pass and run here.)
So, this is a great start for Pickett in his hopes to land the Pittsburgh starting quarterback job sooner than later. He’s currently battling for the job with veteran quarterbacks that are likely no more than stopgap options (and ideally backup options), in Mitch Trubisky and Mason Rudolph.
Pittsburgh may ease Pickett in and have him start the season on the bench, but perhaps he can force the issue in the coming weeks if he continues to make clear progress in preseason games and practices.
The Steelers selected Pickett with the 20th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft after he was a local star in college football for the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Here’s a look at how NFL fans are reacting to Pickett’s winning debut:
I still think Mitch Trubisky ends up the Week 1 starter, but Pickett’s preseason debut went better than expected — especially after a rocky start to training camp.
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 14, 2022
Kenny Pickett’s hands aren’t too small and he is the FUTURE IN PITTSBURGH.
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) August 14, 2022
Kenny Pickett pic.twitter.com/DaxbV3V4sC
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) August 14, 2022
Kenny Pickett rn pic.twitter.com/6NI8E3A2bo
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) August 14, 2022
Kenny Pickett tonight pic.twitter.com/tDJ3wAvaia
— BetMGM 🦁 (@BetMGM) August 14, 2022
Kenny Pickett pic.twitter.com/XBEfq0qMV0
— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) August 14, 2022