sportokbet | Steelers will start rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett

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Pittsburgh will start the Kenny Pickett era in Week 5 after getting a sneak peek at its future quarterback last Sunday.

According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport on Monday, the Steelers are planning to go ahead with Pickett as their starting QB, replacing veteran Mitchell Trubisky.

Pittsburgh will go on with what is considered an inevitable move after the Steelers drafted Pickett with the No. 20 overall choice in April. Trubisky won a three-man QB battle over Pickett and Mason Rudolph during training camp, but lost his position after four games.

On Sunday, the Steelers will be facing the 3-1 Buffalo Bills on the road, and Pickett’s first real start won’t be a picnic.

Pickett’s promotion comes after being thrown into the starting for Trubisky halfway during the Steelers’ Week 4 defeat to the New York Jets.

“I felt we needed a spark, dude,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of Pickett’s relieving appearance. The first half was a struggle for us offensively, and I was hoping he could help us get going.

The rookie QB did give that spark in the early portions of the second half. Pickett’s number was soon called on his very first drive, dashing forward on a QB sneak on a key fourth-and-1 position on his own 31-yeard line. That drive ended with Pickett throwing his first interception, but he would shortly gain the Steelers their first lead of the game following another QB sneak into the end zone.

Then, Pickett directed a 12-play, 87-yard drive that resulted in his second running touchdown of the game, further increasing the Steelers’ advantage. The former Pitt star QB was courageous in and out of the pocket, and showed a solid relationship with rookie wideout George Pickens with a couple of excellent back-shoulder tosses.

The Steelers’ passing game improved with Pickett at the helm, but inexperience would eventually catch up with them. With 3:42 remaining, Pickett threw his second interception to the opposition, helping the Jets rally in the fourth quarter. His third choice came on a desperation Hail Mary into the end zone down four points from the Jets’ 48-yard line.

At the conclusion of the day, none of Pickett’s 13 pass attempts reached the grass. The 24-year-old completed 10 of those throws for 120 yards and the other three were grabbed by Jets defenders. Pickett added 15 yards running on six tries with those two touchdowns.

Trubisky was 7 of 13 for 84 yards and an interception in the first half Sunday. In three-plus games as the Steelers’ QB1, Trubisky has only two touchdown throws.

Trubisky was drafted first overall by the Chicago Bears in 2017 and started for the club for the bulk of his four seasons there, despite similar whispers of replacement throughout the past two seasons as he did with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Before signing a two-year deal with Pittsburgh, Trubisky agreed to spend the 2020 season as Josh Allen’s backup with the Buffalo Bills. It was expected that Pittsburgh native and first-round draft pick Pickett would ultimately replace Big Ben as the team’s starting quarterback for the Steelers.

After four games with no wins, this has finally occurred. The Pickett era in Pittsburgh is begun.

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