Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



Here’s an excerpt from my latest TribLive column. To read the entire piece, click HERE

• Fox’s Colin Cowherd says the Steelers are “sneaky good” but ranks them just ninth among AFC teams. That’s called damning with accurate praise. 

• ranks the Steelers’ Kenny Pickett 28th among the NFL’s starting quarterbacks. Writes Cody Benjamin, “Pickett thrived more as a late-game fighter than efficient full-timer.” Have a second helping of damning with accurate praise. 

Lots of truth in those two notes. 

The Steelers will be better. But in the juggernaut that is the AFC, that might not be good enough. Two or three legit quality teams will miss the playoffs. 

Cowherd ranks Kansas City, Cincinnati, the Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Denver and the New York Jets ahead of the Steelers. He’s got the Chargers a bit high and puts too much faith in Sean Payton taking over as Danver’s coach. But mostly, it’s a tough list to argue with. 

Benjamin is right on the money, too. 

Pickett never threw more than one touchdown pass in a game. He finished 33rd in passer rating, 30th in yards per game. Yet, because he had two late-season game-winning drives, Pickett got assigned the “it” factor. It’s crazy.

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