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Kenny Pickett leads one other Steelers comeback to maintain playoffs in sight

Kenny Pickett leads one other Steelers comeback to maintain playoffs in sight

Kenny Pickett leads one other Steelers comeback to maintain playoffs in sight

BALTIMORE — Kenny Pickett clutched a soccer as he wound via the tunnels underneath M&T Financial institution Stadium on Sunday night time after orchestrating his second consecutive game-winning drive, this one to beat the Baltimore Ravens 16-13 and preserve the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ slim playoff hopes alive.

Not solely did he stave off postseason elimination and Mike Tomlin’s first shedding season as a head coach, however Pickett additionally acquired a sport ball — his first — gifted to him by the “Sunday Evening Soccer” crew.

“I will in all probability ship that again dwelling to my dad and mom and so they can put that one up in our home,” he stated, including that working again Najee Harris acquired one, too, after his first 100-yard dashing sport of the season.

For the second week in a row, Pickett’s calm demeanor and precision passing helped the Steelers (8-8) drive the sector and rating the go-ahead landing with lower than a minute remaining to finish the comeback. Pickett accomplished 5 of 6 makes an attempt for 64 yards and transformed two short-yardage third downs on sneaks to drive the Steelers 80 yards in 3 minutes and 20 seconds, capped with the 10-yard TD to Harris.

Pickett was 3-of-4 — together with the landing — on throws touring at the very least 10 yards downfield on that ultimate drive. He was 3-of-7 on such throws previous to that drive, based on ESPN Stats & Data analysis.

“I am unable to say sufficient about our younger quarterback,” Tomlin stated Sunday night time. “He smiled within the face of it. He is at all times able to be that man within the moments that we want him. And it is simply good to see the younger man. We marched ahead.”

Earlier than Sunday, the Steelers have been 0-7 when trailing by double digits — one in all solely seven groups with no double-digit comeback this season.

With a complementary run sport that racked up 198 dashing yards, Pickett completed the night time having accomplished 15 of 27 makes an attempt for 168 yards with one landing. He is solely the third rookie quarterback to win in Baltimore, becoming a member of Mitch Trubisky (2017) and Jake Plummer (1997).

Every week after discovering George Pickens for the go-ahead landing towards the Las Vegas Raiders with 46 seconds left, Pickett related with Harris on third down with 56 seconds remaining, protecting his eyes downfield as he rolled out of the pocket and eluded Baltimore’s stress. Pickett rifled a cross to a scrambling Harris.

“He did an important job of extending and slipping previous the linebacker,” Pickett stated. “I simply wished to increase lengthy sufficient to the place these guys may free themselves up a little bit bit.”

Pickett turned the primary rookie since at the very least the 1970 merger to throw a go-ahead TD within the ultimate minute of regulation in back-to-back video games, based on Elias Sports activities Bureau analysis.

“We see the moxie in our quarterback,” outdoors linebacker T.J. Watt stated. “We have seen our guys exit and ball out and apply all season lengthy. So we weren’t shocked.”

After being a part of a late game-winning drive every week earlier, the Steelers’ offense was assured in its younger quarterback when it took the sector trailing by 4 with 4:16 remaining — although it hadn’t scored a landing all night time. Kicker Chris Boswell transformed three area purpose makes an attempt earlier within the sport to maintain the Steelers inside hanging distance, however he missed a 48-yarder within the second quarter that will’ve given them an early 6-3 lead.

Nonetheless, the Steelers had little question they have been going to attain once they took the sector for his or her ultimate drive.

“There was power — it was virtually like we had the boldness — like we knew we have been going to go down there and rating,” left deal with Dan Moore Jr. stated of the huddle on the ultimate drive.

The Steelers’ offense believed in Pickett from the minute he took over as quarterback, even when the workforce was 2-6 on the bye. One other come-from-behind, fourth-quarter win solely bolstered that perception.

“We will win with him, and he’ll present up in massive moments,” tight finish Pat Freiermuth stated. “We by no means questioned that, however seeing him delivering these massive moments, and the blokes stepping up and particularly the road … and receivers making performs and stuff. You’ve gotten all the boldness on this planet.”

The idea the offense has in its quarterback is reciprocal — and one which might be key because the Steelers enter Week 18, when a win towards the Cleveland Brownscoupled with losses by the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphinswould get them into the playoffs.

“Confidence that I had in myself is displaying up on the sector, and I believe guys are beginning to really feel that, which is at all times good,” Pickett stated. “Going into the huddle and seeing how assured everyone seems to be, as a quarterback you already know they’ve loads of perception in you, and I’ve loads of perception in these guys within the huddle. When that’s there you positively have a shot. So, it is a step in the precise path. There’s loads of enterprise left to care for.”


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