Airing of Grievances: Defensive demise, ill-timed interceptions undermine Kenny Pickett’s Steelers debut in loss to Jets

There was plenty of bluster, hoopla and emotional peaks during the debut game for Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett on Sunday at Acrisure Stadium.

In the end, however, all it amounted to was a home loss to the stinkin’ New York Jets — for just the second time in franchise history.

For all the lead up, wonderment and speculation, Pickett got into a game and the Steelers lost it.

He was part of a comeback. Then he was part of the collapse.

Now coach Mike Tomlin’s team is 1-3 with games coming up against the Bills, Buccaneers, Dolphins and Eagles, four teams with a combined record of 12-3. If we are being honest about the Steelers — and we should all try that sometime — they are an injury to the Cincinnati Bengals long snapper away from being 0-4.

And if nothing else is clear coming out of Sunday’s 24-20 defeat, one thing absolutely should be. There is a lot wrong with this team that a quarterback change can’t fix.

We’ll dive into all those issues in this week’s “Airing of Grievances.”

Defensive demise: Pickett was inserted into the game to start the third quarter with Pittsburgh trailing 10-6. The defense did an excellent job early in the third, forcing a three-and-out and getting an interception on the first two series. Even New York’s third drive of the second half resulted in another punt after six snaps.


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