Pittsburgh Steelers receiver George Pickens struggled Thursday night in a 21-18 loss to the Patriots.
The 22-year-old wideout let out his frustration at Acrizier Stadium, where Pittsburgh's playoff hopes took a huge hit, looking absolutely miserable on the bench and lackluster on the field.
At one point, Kirk Herbstreit, who was on the phone with Al Michaels on Prime Video, said it was a “bad look” when Pickens appeared to be running as fast as he could.
“He’s kind of playing off,” Herbstreit said. “I think this sends a message to me and your team. I look at the receiver's willingness to block and whether he's willing to put in the effort.
“It kind of represents the heartbeat of the team. It's a bad look.”
Pickens was targeted only twice in the first half, one of which resulted in an interception.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin Looks like he had some choice words for Pickens. Michaels said he was a bystander.
“Yeah, he just shows his maturity and how important it is to keep fighting,” Herbstreit said.
Herbstreit added that Pickens' frustration was evident when he was seen with his head down in the end zone after the botched play.
Cameras also captured Pickens having a heated exchange with a teammate on the bench.
It's unclear what exactly he said, but he appeared animated as he waved his arms in the air.
Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson addressed Pickens' frustration after the game.
“He's probably frustrated. My job is to keep telling him to stay focused on the game.” He said. “You never know when you'll get a chance and you can't let one bad play define you.
“So I'm always trying to be around him and try to keep him focused on the game and keep his energy up, and at the same time we need him. When the energy goes down and the ball goes to him. If he comes in, there's a chance he won't be able to play. But I'm sure he'll be fine.”
Johnson was recently criticized for his lazy play in forcing a fumble in the Steelers' win over the Bengals on Nov. 26.
Pickens had five catches for 19 yards.
Since losing 10-24 to the Cardinals on Dec. 3, the Steelers have lost their second straight game in five days and have fallen from first place in the AFC Wild Card race.
The Steelers will visit fellow AFC Wild Card candidate Indianapolis Colts on December 16th.