It has been fairly a tough week for second-year extensive receiver George Pickens main as much as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Week 16 matchup towards the Cincinnati Bengals.
Pickens confronted main criticism from the fan base and media following his lack of effort on a first-and-goal towards the Indianapolis Colts, by which his defender made the deal with on Jaylen Warren simply earlier than the top zone. He adopted up the shortage of effort by criticizing the media and stating that every one the criticism got here from individuals who do not play soccer.
After all, Pickens’ feedback led to go coach Mike Tomlin having to deal with the media once more final Wednesday. There have been questions on whether or not Pickens can be benched for his actions and feedback, however Tomlin and the Steelers didn’t.
Pickens rewarded them, to his credit score.
The standout second-year receiver had 4 catches for 195 yards and two touchdowns within the 34-11 win over the Bengals at Acrisure Stadium, together with touchdowns of 86 and 66 yards.
For former NFL offensive lineman and present analyst Ross Tucker, Pickens’ monster efficiency was one other instance of why he ought to throw the soccer to him extra usually.
“George Pickens was completely ridiculous on this recreation after a tumultuous week the place he stopped blocking as a result of he did not need to get harm, after which he admitted he was going out, and that is why you threw him the ball,” Tucker mentioned of Pickens’ efficiency towards the Bengals. “I imply, he had two lengthy catch-and-run touchdowns. Had a pleasant catch on the sideline.”
On the second snap of the Steelers popping out of a scrimmage towards the Bengals, Pickens hauled in a slant route in quarterback Mason Rudolph’s move, made a Bengals security miss in area and was off to the races for the 86-yard landing. It was an identical landing to the one he had in week two at dwelling towards the Cleveland Browns on Monday Evening Soccer, taking a slant route from quarterback Kenny Pickett to the home for a 71-yard landing.
That was only the start for Pickens.
Later, he had a 44-yard catch down the left sideline late within the first half, miraculously coming in with each toes, establishing a Chris Boswell area aim. That play was named the most effective catches of the season by ESPN’s Matt Bowen earlier this week.
Pickens capped off the monster night time with a 66-yard landing from Rudolph on a third and 1, working from protection and catching a dime from Rudolph in his stride down the left sideline, resulting in an enormous answering landing from the Steelers after the Bengals had made it was a 24-8 recreation after Tee Higgins’ 81-yard landing.
It was a tumultuous week, however Pickens showcased his immense skills and proved as soon as once more that the Steelers must expertise the highs and lows as he strikes ahead as a result of the expertise is so spectacular.