Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett's stellar NFL debut, paired with a solid ground game, propelled the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 32-25 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1 of the 2022 preseason.
Editor’s note: All grades in this article are subject to review. All PFF player grades will be finalized by 12 pm ET tomorrow.
- Mitchell Trubisky took the reigns for Pittsburgh's first two drives and tossed a touchdown to go along with three other completions on seven attempts. He also displayed a willingness to attack farther downfield, posting a high 13-yard average depth of target.
- In his first NFL action, Kenny Pickett went 13-of-15 for 95 yards and two scores. Both of his incompletions came on passes targeted 10 or more yards downfield.
- It was the Anthony McFarland Jr. show out of the Steelers' backfield early on. The third-year back, who has just 19 career regular-season attempts, forced three missed tackles and averaged 6.1 yards after contact across his seven attempts.
- Jaylen Warren caught all four of his targets for 30 yards — 29 of which came after the catch — and a touchdown.
- The training camp hype spilled into preseason action for George Pickens, who caught three of his five targets for 43 yards and an impressive toe-tapping score.
- Rookie tight end Connor Heyward hauled in two of his four targets, not including a two-point conversion reception.
- It was a rough Steelers debut for former Bears guard James Daniels, who surrendered two pressures and was beaten another two times (not resulting in pressure) on just 10 pass-blocking snaps, pending review.
- Veteran tackle Joe Haeg was one of two (Chaz Green) Pittsburgh linemen to play 20-plus pass-blocking snaps and not allow pressure.
- Five different Pittsburgh linemen tallied a quarterback pressure. The group combined for just four pressures across 109 combined pass-rush snaps.
- Rookie DeMarvin Leal got in on the action with a hurry and another rep where he beat his defender but didn't generate pressure.
- Myles Jack recorded a run stop on just five run-defense snaps.
- In coverage, Pittsburgh's linebacker corps was beaten for eight catches on eight targets for 82 yards, two touchdowns and three more first downs.
- Safety Tre Norwood and cornerback James Pierre are set to pace the secondary in PFF coverage grade, combining to allow just two catches for 22 yards on seven targets (Pierre allowed both). Each forced an incompletion, as well.
- Amid a camp battle between Geno Smith and Drew Lock, it was Smith who handled the first half. He went 10-of-15 for 101 yards and made two big-time throws.
- Lock took over for the second half and went 11-of-15 for 102, two touchdowns and one big-time throw.
- Rookie Kenneth Walker III played with the first-team offense, tallying 19 yards on five carries. Only seven of those yards came after contact.
- DeeJay Dallas forced two missed tackles and led the way with 73 yards on 10 carries.
- Rookie Bo Melton took a short pass from Drew Lock and broke a tackle en route to a 39-yard gain. He ended the night with 47 yards on two receptions.
- Fellow seventh-round rookie Dareke Young hauled in a touchdown, brought in a contested catch and led the team in targets (5).
- It was a stellar performance from what some consider to be the worst offensive line in the NFL. Seattle's group allowed just one pressure — a measly hurry — across 145 pass-blocking snaps.
- Rookie Charles Cross remained clean in pass protection on 23 pass-blocking snaps.
- Myles Adams tallied four run stops, including two tackles for loss or no gain.
- Second-round rookie Boye Mafe recorded a sack and a hurry in addition to beating his opposition another two times on 31 pass-rushing snaps.
- Cody Barton was the lone Seahawks linebacker to make a run stop in the contest.