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The Kenny Pickett fan confidence lift dies quickly after Week 5

The surge of fan confidence after Kenny Pickett’s debut in Week 4 was short lived after the team fell flat vs. the Bills in Week 5.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers had their fans feeling good this past offseason. The free agent moves made and the 2022 NFL Draft class had the black-and-gold faithful feeling good. Then you throw in the fact the team went 3-0 in the preseason, and you’d believe confidence was brimming with the fan base. But throughout the preseason, several issues popped up with the team in all facets. Nonetheless, the hope was they’d fix it while they won football games.

As you can imagine, Steelers fans weren’t brimming with confidence heading into their Week 1 game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals in Ohio. Nonetheless, the team found a way to upset the Bengals 23-20 in overtime and move their record to 1-0.

Such a crazy game, and victory, you’d think this would create a big bump in fan confidence, right?

Not so much.

What started next was a skid to forget. The Week 2 loss to the New England Patriots, one where the offense essentially failed to show up, caused the Steelers fan base to lose faith, and in a hurry. Following the Steelers Week 3 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football, confidence in the team remained low.

But, have no fear, hope was on the way! Everyone assumed it would come via a win over the Jets in Week 4, but that didn’t happen. However, hope, as it turns out, was found in the second half of the Steelers loss to the New York Jets. When Kenny Pickett entered the game as the starting quarterback it caused a rise in fan confidence throughout the fan base. Yes, even in a losing effort.

How long did the Pickett surge in confidence last? Well, after the 38-3 shellacking against the Buffalo Bills in Week 5...not very long.

As a part of SB Nation’s Reacts poll, sponsored by DraftKings Sportsbook, every fan who takes the poll, which equates to a lot of fans, were asked a simple question:

Are you confident in the direction of the team?

How far did it rise after the Week 5 loss? Well, quite dramatically. Take a look at where the confidence was, and where it is now, below:

Preseason Confidence: 91%
Pre-Regular Season Confidence: 81%
Week 1 Confidence: 80%
Week 2 Confidence: 20%
Week 3 Confidence: 21%
Week 4 Confidence: 52%
Week 5 Confidence: 22%

With confidence on the decline, again, it felt obvious to ask a follow-up question. This follow-up question pertained to Steelers team needs. Where did the fan base see the biggest team need on the current roster?

Before getting to the results, I should add an oversight on my part. When giving options for this survey question, I included the following options:

  • CB
  • ILB
  • OLB
  • OT
  • Other

Call it an oversight, or being limited by how many options I can choose, but not including defensive line was a position I should have added. It likely is the reason 18% of voters chose “other” as their option in this question.

Nonetheless, the fans have spoken, and they see cornerback as the primary need on this team...

There are glaring holes on this Steelers’ roster, and trying to pinpoint those areas of need in an order of importance varies depending on the person.

A lot can change throughout the course of a regular season, and we’ll be sure to keep you up-to-speed on the fan base’s feelings of the team. But what say you? Do you have confidence in the direction of the team?

Let us know what you think in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 6 of the regular season.

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.