PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have had a quarterback problem all season long, but in Week 11 against the Cleveland Browns, it finally boiled over into a loss.
Kenny Pickett's fourth quarter magic could only last so long, right? At some point, Mike Tomlin's lack of acknowledgment that his quarterback is struggling would lead to a problem - and, well, it did.
The Steelers fought and crawled their way back from a 10-0 deficit late in the fourth quarter. And with a little over two minutes remaining in the ball game, Pickett and the offense got the ball back - tied game - and everyone expected to see more of the "magic."
It didn't happen. Pittsburgh went three-and-out after three incompletions from Pickett, including an overthrow to Diontae Johnson that he described as miscommunication.
Now, before going any further, it's important to note both Pickett and Tomlin said after the game that there is no lack of confidence in the quarterback play.
"Always confident in myself," Pickett said. "It's an ultimate team game. We have to come together and figure this thing out."
While it's good Pickett isn't down on himself, it's still a problem that is starting to suffocate the Steelers.
The current situation they're in isn't great. They have two backups who aren't proven winners as starters, and Mitch Trubisky has already shown his hand in 2023 and it's wasn't pretty.
But here's the thing. If the Steelers never put Trubisky in a game this season, the conversation for a quarterback change would be very loud. It still should be. Maybe they don't have a capable backup to replace Pickett with, but continuing to ignore the issue isn't going to lead to more issues, not solutions.
At bare minimum, Pittsburgh should open a competition, and maybe even include Mason Rudolph in it. But the last thing they should do is continue to march forward and act as if everything is going to be fine.
There is no perfect solution in this situation. They're in a spot where Pickett might not ever improve to the level they need him to, Trubisky's solo performance is one to forget and Rudolph hasn't thrown a regular season pass in two years.
Sometimes, it isn't perfect, but it needs to be done. That's where the Steelers are.
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