George Pickens stirred up some NFL fans on social media on Sunday near the end of the Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The wide receiver took a cheap shot at Tyler Boyd, who recovered an onside kick to close out a 37-30 victory.
With 45 seconds remaining, Najee Harris scored on a 1-yard run to keep Pittsburgh alive. The Steelers then needed to recover an onside kick if they hoped to force overtime. Boyd recovered the attempt with relative ease, but after the play, Pickens targeted the Bengals receiver.
Pickens was tossed from the game and caught plenty of ire from fans. Here’s a look at the hit, so you can judge for yourself whether it was a dirty play or not:
One NFL fan wrote, “Dirty play by George Pickens there that’s going to cost him some $$$.” Another fan added, “Suspension or gtfo.”
Another individual on Twitter was upset it took officials so long to make the call, saying, “Took the officials 5 minutes to do it too “do we really want to throw out a Steelers player?”
There’s no question the 2022 campaign has been frustrating for the Steelers. That really doesn’t excuse Pickens’ actions in the closing moments of the game, though.
Performance From George Pickens Not Enough for Steelers
George Pickens played well in Sunday’s game against the Bengals, but it wasn’t enough to carry the Steelers to a win. That, in part, probably played into the debacle on the onside kick.
Pickens led the team with 83 yards and a touchdown on four catches. Despite the effort, Pittsburgh dropped to 3-7 on the season with a 37-30 loss.
Pickens has posted solid numbers all season for Pittsburgh. He’s caught 33 passes for 453 yards and two touchdowns. He’s averaging 13.7 yards per reception. Still, the wins have come few and far between in the Steel City.
There has been a lot of frustration within the organization this season. In late October, rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett talked about the “insanity” of the offense after an ugly loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Something’s got to change, right? It’s insane to do the same thing over and over and expect something different,” Pickett said, according to Brian Batko of the Post-Gazette. “We’ve been having these problems all year, that has to get changed.”
Pittsburgh will try to correct some errors next week against the Indianapolis Colts.