Plays of the Year: Pickett finds Pickens for game-winning touchdown connection
Steel City Underground presents “Plays of the Year” featuring the top runs, catches, hits and everything else in-between from the Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas Eve night in a nationally televised game which saw both six-win teams facing each other in a game commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception.
It was a bittersweet evening, as Franco Harris, who was scheduled to have his jersey number retired as part of the ceremonies, unexpectantly passed away earlier in the week leading up to kickoff. As such, Steelers Nation felt this was a game the team had to win, but the prospects were looking bleak as Pittsburgh trailed 10-6 with 2:55 remaining.
Following multiple drives through the first three quarters that ended in two field goals, and two missed field goal attempts, the Steelers offense had struggled to dent the Raiders defense most of the evening.
However, Steelers rookie QB Kenny Pickett took the reigns in this series and led what would be, to date, the first-year passer’s best performance. It would start with the Pitt product completing 4-of-6 passes, driving the team down to the Raiders 15-yard-line before facing a 4th-and-1, where Pickett would stretch out to gain a first down.
Now facing 1st-and-10 from the Las Vegas 14 with 50 seconds to go, the offense stretched three receivers out to Pickett’s right, but almost immediately you could gain a sense of where this ball was going to go: #14 George Pickens, another rookie having a good first year, was lined up on the inside slot.
Pickens runs a quick inside move at the top of his route as Pickett delivers the football to his wide-open target.
Chris Boswell would convert the PAT to give the Steelers 13 points: the same amount they had 50 years prior in their playoff victory over the Raiders. This play would also prove to be the game-winner, as the Steelers improved to 7-8 on the season, keeping their slim playoff chances alive by a final score of 13-10.