January 31, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Kenny Pickett leads the Steelers’ comeback yet again to keep the playoffs in sight

Baltimore – Kenny Beckett He grabbed the football slashing through the tunnels under M&T Bank Stadium Sunday night after orchestrating his second straight game-winning drive, this time to beat the Baltimore Ravens 16-13 and keep slim Pittsburgh Steelers hopes alive.

Not only did he avoid a postseason elimination and Mike Tomlin’s first losing season as a head coach, but Pickett also got a game ball—his first—gifted to him by the “Sunday Night Football” crew.

“Maybe I’ll send that to my parents, and they can put that in our house,” he said, adding that the running back Nagy Harris He got one, too, after his first hundred-yard rushing game of the season.

For the second week in a row, Pickett’s calm demeanor and accurate passing helped the Steelers (8-8) lead the field and score the go-ahead with less than a minute left to complete the comeback. Pickett completed 5 of 6 attempts for 64 yards and converted two short third-yard touchdown runs on a sneak for the Steelers’ 80-yard drive in 3 minutes and 20 seconds, capped by a 10-yard TD run to Harris.

Pickett was 3 of 4 — including touchdowns — on throws moving at least 10 yards down the line on that final drive. He was 3 of 7 on such throws prior to that drive, according to ESPN Stats & Information Research.

“I can’t say enough about the young quarterback,” Tomlin said Sunday night. “Smile in the face of that. He’s always ready to be that guy in the moments we need him. And it’s good to see the young man. We’ve moved forward.”

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Prior to Sunday, the Steelers were 0-7 when trailing by double digits — one of only seven teams without a double-digit comeback this season.

With his 198-yard supplemental running game, Pickett finished the night having completed 15 of 27 attempts for 168 yards with 1 touchdown. He is only the third rookie quarterback to win in Baltimore, joining Mitch Trubisky (2017) and Jake Plummer (1997).

A week after it was found George Pickens For a go-ahead run against the Las Vegas Raiders with 46 seconds left, Pickett connected with Harris on third down with 56 seconds remaining, keeping his eyes in place as he rolled from the pocket and avoided Baltimore’s pressure. Pickett hits a pass to the defending Harris.

“He did a great job of extending and chipping in behind the fullback,” said Pickett. “I just wanted to linger long enough for these guys to free themselves up a bit.”

Pickett became the first rookie since at least the 1970 merger to throw a go-ahead TD in the final minute of regulation in back-to-back games, according to Elias Sports Bureau research.

“We see a moxie in our quarterback,” the outside linebacker said TJ Watt He said. “We’ve seen our guys go out, play ball and train all season. So we’re not surprised.”

Having been part of a late game-winning drive a week earlier, the Steelers offense was confident in the young quarterback when he took a late four with 4:16 remaining – even though he didn’t score a touchdown all night. Kicker Chris Boswell He converted three field goal attempts earlier in the game to keep the Steelers within striking distance, but missed a 48-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that would give them an early 6-3 lead.

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However, the Steelers had no doubt they would score when they took the field on their final drive.

“There was energy – it was like we had the confidence – like we knew we were going to go out there and score a goal,” he said. Dan Moore Jr He said of the crowd on the final drive.

The Steelers’ offense believed in Pickett from the moment he took over as quarterback, even when the team was 2-6 by the bye. Another come-from-behind win in the fourth quarter cemented that belief.

“We can win with him, and he’ll show up at key moments,” a tight end Pat Freermuth He said. “We never questioned it, but I’ve seen him deliver those big moments, guys come up and especially the line…and receivers make plays and stuff. You have all the confidence in the world.”

The belief that offense at the quarterback is mutual — a belief that will be key as the Steelers enter Week 18, when wins over the Cleveland Browns, along with losses by the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins, will seal them into the playoffs.

“The confidence I had in myself shows on the pitch, and I think the guys are starting to feel that, which is always a good thing,” said Pickett. “Going into the huddle and seeing how confident everyone is, as the quarterback, you know they have a lot of faith in you, and I have a lot of faith in those guys in the huddle. When that’s there you definitely have a chance. So, it’s a step in the right direction. There’s a lot of business.” that should be taken care of.”

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