Sports News 247

2023 South Side Questions: Will George Pickens Get Shut Down By Cleveland Like They Did To Ja’Marr Chase?


The Steelers are now back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, facing down a long regular season that looks a lot more promising given how things have gone leading up to it. Finishing just above .500 last year, they anticipate being able to compete with any team in the league this season with second-year QB Kenny Pickett leading the way.

They’ve done a great deal to address what they identified as their shortcomings during the offseason, which included addressing the offensive and defensive lines as well as the secondary and the inside linebacker room, which is nearly entirely different from last year. The results have been positive so far.

Even well into the regular season and beyond, there are going to be plenty of questions that need answered. When will the core rookies get to play, or even start? Is the depth sufficient where they upgraded? Can they stand toe-to-toe with the Bengals and the other top teams in the league? We’ll try to frame the conversation in relevant ways as long as you stick with us throughout the season, as we have for many years.

Question: Will WR George Pickens get shut down by the Browns’ secondary?

The Steelers are coming off of an awful game, particularly on offense (or particularly on defense—I guess you have your pick). The Browns are coming off of a great game, in which the defense dominated. They held Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow to 82 yards. WR Ja’Marr Chase had 39 of them on five catches. WR Higgins didn’t even catch a pass on eight targets.

So why would we think that Steelers second-year WR George Pickens is going to be able to go off on the Browns’ cornerbacks with Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome II stepping up to the plate? Their dynamic pass rush led by Myles Garrett doesn’t even give the cornerbacks a very long time that they need to cover.

Given what they were able to do limiting the Bengals this past week, and what the Steelers’ offense managed to do against the San Francisco 49ers, it might be difficult to imagine Pickens having an incredibly successful day. His stat line was very similar to Chase’s: five catches for 36 yards.

But the Steelers need a big game from Pickens with Diontae Johnson unavailable for the next few weeks. Can he win against the likes of Ward? Can QB Kenny Pickett get enough time to throw with perhaps a rookie Broderick Jones trying to block Garrett on one side and Dan Moore Jr. with his hands full with Za’Darius Smith and others?

Is it just a matter of opportunity? Start chucking it up to Pickens and see what happens? It might be their only option if the offensive line is not going to hold up against Cleveland’s pass rush.

Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.