The Pittsburgh Steelers don't do boring. Seemingly every season, regardless of their record or championship odds, the Steelers seem to never have a season devoid of intrigue. Last season's big story was the final chapter of Ben Roethlisberger's 18-year career. This year's saga is centered around Roethlisberger's successor, Kenny Pickett, who will keep the starting job after making his NFL debut this past Sunday. 

The switch from Mitch Trubisky to Pickett comes at a pivotal point in the Steelers' season. At 1-3, the Steelers are only a game back of every other team in the AFC North. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is Pittsburgh's schedule, with upcoming games at Buffalo, vs. Tampa Bay, at Miami and at Philadelphia before heading into the Week 9 bye. 

Pittsburgh's pre-bye schedule led many to believe that, should coach Mike Tomlin decide to make a quarterback change, it would take place after the bye, when the Steelers' schedule appears to lighten up. Instead, Tomlin decided not to wait, and the Steelers will take on their upcoming foes with their rookie quarterback, for better or worse. 

How will it work out? Here's a look

Impact on offense

Based on this past Sunday's game, the Kenny Pickett experience will be anything but boring. In one half of work, Pickett became the first quarterback in NFL history to have multiple touchdown runs in his debut. He further made history by attempting the most passes in a game without having a pass hit the ground. Of course, that record includes Pickett's three interceptions. While two of his picks failed to hurt his cause, Pickett's second interception, a high pass to Freiermuth that came while under duress, helped set up the Jets' game-winning score. 

Pickett's inclusion in the starting lineup will impact more than the offense, but let's start there nonetheless. With Pickett on the field, Pittsburgh's offense was 50-50 in terms of passes and runs against the Jets. The Steelers were nearly as balanced in the first half, with 13 passes and 14 runs with Trubisky under center. Even more similar was Najee Harris' production with both quarterbacks. The Steelers' Pro Bowl running back had exactly 37 yards on nine carries in both the first and second half. 

The Steelers' offense will likely feature more runs with Pickett at quarterback. A strong running game is a quarterback's best friend, especially for a rookie QB. Harris' workload may not increase much, but one could expect to see more carries for Jaylen Warren, an undrafted rookie who gained 70 yards on 14 carries during the season's first month. Steelers fans could even see a sprinkle of Benny Snell, a four-year pro who had 255 carries in his first three seasons. 

Pittsburgh's running game will also include the new quarterback. Pickett called his own number six times on Sunday, with two of those runs resulting in touchdowns. It appears that Pickett will have a chance to break Kordell Stewart's 25-year-old franchise record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. Stewart ran for 11 touchdowns in 1997, his first full season as an NFL starting quarterback. Pickett's mobility will be utilized, no doubt about it, but the Steelers would be wise to limit his runs in order to increase his odds at staying healthy for the duration. 

The Steelers will likely run more, but that doesn't mean that fantasy football players should cut bait with Pittsburgh's receivers. In fact, fantasy players who have George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth on their rosters should be rewarded for their patience in the coming weeks. Pickens was Pickett's favorite target Sunday, with 102 yards on six catches. 

Freiermuth caught seven passes for 85 yards that included a key 18-yard catch that set up Pickett's second touchdown run. 

From a fantasy perspective

"Pat Freiermuth really has been the big surprise," CBS Sports Senior Fantasy Writer Heath Cummings recently said while assessing the Steelers' offense from a fantasy football angle. "Last year, he did not see the target volume you would expect from a starting tight end. But he got into the end zone a bunch, so we didn't care. This year, he's really seen his targets click up. He was the only other stealer besides George Pickens to see four targets from Kenny Pickens. I think Freiermuth will stay strong as a starting tight end." 

Cummings is still a believer in Diontae Johnson despite Sunday's two-catch, 11-yard performance. Johnson's history of getting a lot of targets, Cummings said, should earn him the benefit of the doubt as Pickett settles into the offense. Cummings is not as optimistic when it comes to Chase Claypool, who did not catch a pass on Sunday after being unable to hold onto Pickett's deep pass that resulted in his first interception. 

"I'm certainly more excited about Pickens right now than I am Claypool," Cummings said. 

The offensive line

How will the offensive line fare with Pickens? It should do better, as long as Pickett continues to make quick reads. He sometimes falls back into his old habit of being too hesitant in the pocket (as he was on his second interception on Sunday), and that something that he will surely look to improve on over the coming weeks. 

Along with protecting Pickett, the offensive line has to continue to make progress in the running game. Progress is being made, albeit slowly, as Pittsburgh ran for a respectable 119 yards on 31 carries on Sunday. The unit did a better job Sunday getting Harris on the outside, similar to how he had success during his time at Alabama. That will likely lead to more snaps for fullback Derek Watt, who at time was used as a lead blocker on Sunday. 

Impact on defense

The move to Pickett should benefit the Steelers' defense, a unit that has struggled in the fourth quarter over the past three games. A more run conscious offense should lead to less time on the field for a Steelers defense that was on the field an awful lot during the season's first month. A more rested defense should lead to a fresher one during the final stretches of games. 

Pickett's presence will also present challenges for the Steelers' defense. His late-game interception last Sunday was proof of that. Young quarterbacks make mistakes, and sometimes, the defense will have to bail them out. The Steelers' defense was unable do to do that on Sunday, whether it was fatigue, injuries in the secondary, tangible errors of a collection of all three. Regardless, the unit will have to pick their quarterback up and bail him out from time to time. The Steelers have defenders capable of doing that, led by Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt when he is healthy enough to return to the field. 

Like Roethlisberger during the later years of his career, Pickett will benefit from the supreme talents of Chris Boswell, the greatest kicker in franchise annals who on Sunday set an Acrisure Stadium record by booting a 59-yard field goal. Boswell's range will allow Pickett to take less risks with the ball once the Steelers cross midfield. Conversely, Boswell's leg may get more a rest from time to time if the Steelers can finish off more of their drives with Pickett under center. 

What will Steelers' record be with Pickett?

As we've already documented, the Steelers have an uphill climb if they are going to do repeat last year's feat of making the playoffs after a 1-3 start. You could argue, with conviction, that Tomlin is facing his biggest challenge in his 16 years as Pittsburgh's coach. Tomlin's and the Steelers' streaks of unbeaten seasons has never been more in jeopardy than it is now. 

The Steelers will never punt on a season ("The Standard is the standard" is Tomlin's most famous saying), and they certainly aren't calling it quits now after four games. That said, the decision to promote Pickett to starter is symbolic in that it shows that Tomlin and the Steelers are not "living in their fears," another Tomlin-ism. The Steelers are starting Pickett while keeping their sights set on being a factor in the AFC playoff picture. 

Few will fault the Steelers if they fall short of that goal, especially with a rookie quarterback in the starting lineup. But Tomlin has made similar magic happen in recent seasons. The Steelers salvaged an 8-8 season with Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges splitting starts. They went 9-7-1 last year despite having the league's worst run defense and a makeshift offensive line. The Steelers can make similar magic happen now, as Tomlin's team still includes some of the league's top players at their respective positions. 

With Pickett under center, the Steelers are playing for both the present as well as the future. A disappointing season will mostly be forgiven if Pickett shows signs of being Roethlisberger's longterm successor. But if Pickett can play well while also helping the Steelers win games, the former Pitt standout will further add to his legend within the steel city.  

Which scenario will play out over the next four months? The realists will take the former, while the dreamers will choose to hang onto the later. Historians, particularly those familiar with Tomlin's work, will likely hedge the bets on the coach who has never had a losing record. 

Regardless, the Steelers' final 13 games are bound to resemble that of a wild roller coaster ride, which is probably more than fine for Tomlin, Pickett, and Steelers fans are who have grown accustomed to living on the edge.