The Pittsburgh Steelers were one of the big stories of the first NFL Sunday of the 2023 season, but not for the right reasons, as they got absolutely dominated by the San Francisco 49ers in their own backyard. Despite being just 2.5-point underdogs prior to kickoff, the Steelers ultimately lost by 23 points.
While the 49ers perhaps have the most talented roster in the National Football League, that doesn’t seem to matter to wide receiver George Pickens, who liked a comment on Instagram that criticized the performance of quarterback Kenny Pickett.
In the game, which the Steelers lost by a score of 30-7, the 22-year-old Pickens had five catches for 36 yards.
𝗧𝗥𝗘𝗡𝗗𝗜𝗡𝗚: #Steelers WR George Pickens seems to be upset over his usage in the team’s game today
He liked a comment on his Instagram post saying “Nobody to get that man the ball tho”
Pickens had 5 receptions for 36 yards.
— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) September 11, 2023
George Pickens is on Instagram liking a post that criticizes Kenny Pickett. WTF. pic.twitter.com/F9eIVKuSqP
— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) September 11, 2023
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) September 11, 2023
As for Pickett’s performance, Steelers fans will likely be especially frustrated considering the apparent growth they thought he showed in the preseason and the predictions that they would return to the playoffs this year. Against the 49ers, however, Pickett completed 31 of 46 passes for 232 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
The offense’s struggles aren’t entirely on Pickett and the passing game, though, as running backs Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren combined for just nine carries and 37 yards.
The Steelers will have over a week to get ready for their Week 2 matchup as their next game will be on Monday Night Football against the Cleveland Browns on September 18. Luckily for the Steelers, despite hosting the 49ers in Week 1, they’ll also be at home against the Browns — who opened their season with an impressive win over the Cincinnati Bengals — next week.
During his rookie season with the Steelers, Pickett — who was taken by the Steelers out of the University of Pittsburgh as the 20th overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft — started in 12 games and won seven of them. In his 13 total appearances, he completed 63% of his passes for 2,404 yards, seven touchdowns, and nine interceptions.