5 QBs who deserve to be benched after NFL Week 1

  • An AFC and NFC veteran who may be toast
  • Why is this guy starting in the first place?
  • Two franchise QBs who played horrendously
Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns
Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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3. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers

Let's get this out of the way. The Pittsburgh Steelers aren't going to bench Kenny Pickett in any world in which we live. He's the franchise in his second season after the team drafted him in the first round a year ago.

Against the 49ers on Sunday, though, it was hard to justify the performance from the second-year signal-caller.

Pickett certainly wasn't done any favors by a Steelers offensive line that many had thought to be fixed coming into the 2023 season. Even still, the 31-of-46 performance resulting in just 232 yards (5.0 yards per attempt) with one touchdown while giving up two interceptions and being sacked five times is tough to swallow.

After a pristine preseason and all reports indicating that Mike Tomlin and Matt Canada were going to take the training wheels off of the offense for Pickett, we simply didn't see that in Week 1. Perhaps that's due to the 49ers' front having their way in the trenches. But perhaps we were lied to by preseason results.

What's abundantly clear with Pickett after Week 1, though, is that whatever the plan was against San Francisco isn't going to work moving forward. He has to be given the opportunity to take more chances because what we saw in the season opener isn't going to cut it, especially for a team hoping to contend in a tough AFC North.