Kenny Pickett is beginning to resemble Ben Roethlisberger through his first eight games, which is exactly what Steelers fans wished for.
After Kenny Pickett started his Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL career by throwing four interceptions in his first two games, some fans were ready to get away from the experience altogether.
Pickett would go on to go just 1-3 in his first four starts, with 210.5 passing yards, 0.5 touchdowns, and 1.3 interceptions per game on 5.54 yards per passing attempt in those first four.
But since then, Pickett appears to really have found his footing and proven the early doubters wrong. Maybe he just needed a little more time, is all.
In his most recent three starts, Pickett has led the team to a 2-1 record with 212.7 passing yards, 0.3 touchdowns, and 0.0 interceptions per game on 6.38 yards per passing attempt.
After moving toward the “bust” label in his first few games, he’s turned things around and now started to earn comparisons to Ben Roethlisberger with more games under his belt:
Not a bad comparison at all considering the expectations Pittsburgh fans have for their quarterback.
What does Kenny Pickett need to accomplish in first two seasons to pace with Ben Roethlisberger’s Steelers success?
In his first two seasons, Roethlisberger averaged:
- 192.5 throwing yards per game
- 1.3 touchdowns per game
- 0.77 interceptions per game
- 8.9 yards per passing attempt
- 64.7% completion percentage
That led to a grand total of 17 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and 5,006 passing yards throughout his first two seasons (26 games).
To achieve those same numbers, Pickett would need to achieve these averages in his next 18 games or better:
- 200.3 passing yards per game
- 1.82 passing touchdowns per game
- 0.7 interceptions per game or fewer
But beyond the per-game stats, the biggest gap between Pickett and Roethlisberger right now is raw wins. Big Ben went an impressive 22-3 in his first two seasons (25 of his first 26 games he appeared in as a starter) while Pickett has already logged four losses.
It’s important to understand that the two young quarterbacks had very different teams around them, though, with Pickett working with a team positioned toward a rebuild and the 2023 draft, whereas Roethlisberger had the pieces around him to compete right away.
Still, the expectation in Pittsburgh for the last 20+ years has been to win, and with the stockpile of early draft picks Pittsburgh has next year fans will expect this ship to turn around quickly.
Monday night’s win was a great flash of what could come from Pickett.