The Kenny Pickett era has had highs and lows, ups and downs. He passes the eyeball test, which is good. But he has thrown more than a few interceptions, which is not.
As noted by NFL Research, Pickett’s seven interceptions make him the only Steelers rookie quarterback to throw at least five picks in his first four games since a player named Terry Bradshaw. Who went on to win four Super Bowls.
Bradshaw threw five picks in his first three games, and none in his fourth. Pickett’s seven in four games make him the new Steelers standard bearer.
Bradshaw had eight interceptions through five games and 11 through six, so Pickett has more work to do in order to keep up with Bradshaw’s pace. He finished a 14-game rookie season with 24 interceptions. (He played in only 13 games.)
Regardless of the intentions, the tweet from the NFL Research account has careful wording that may not be immediately obvious: “The only other rookie QB to throw 5+ INT in their first 4 career games (and play in at least 4 games) with the Steelers was Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw, who would go on to win 4 Super Bowls for the Steelers.” Some may mistakenly think (as I initially did) that Pickett is the first rookie quarterback to have five or more interceptions in his first four games. Obviously, that’s not the case.
Peyton Manning, for example, threw 11 interceptions in his first four games, in 1998. He finished with 28, still the NFL rookie record for a full season.
So get to work, Kenny. Terry and Peyton are counting on it.