Plays of the Year: Kenny Pickett connects with Calvin Austin for 72-yard equalizing touchdown

Steel City Underground presents “Plays of the Year” featuring the top runs, catches, hits and everything else in-between from the Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 season.

Seeing as there weren’t many highlights from Kenny Pickett under center for the Steelers in 2023, we felt it would be nice to dig up one last big play to send him on his way to Philadelphia.

On the road against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 3 of the 2023 NFL regular season, the Pittsburgh Steelers offense didn’t give fans immediate hope that it had found its identity. On their first two offensive series of the game, the Steelers went three-and-out, and looked like they might do so again on their third possession as the Raiders let Maxx Crosby and their defensive front off the leash.

Kenny Pickett, harassed at quarterback behind an offensive line that had moved away from playing strictly zone to more double-teams, took an opportunity to uncork the genie for a big, equalizing pass down the field to Calvin Austin.

On third-and-seven at the Pittsburgh 28-yard line, with 6:12 on the game clock in the first quarter, Pickett took the snap from shotgun. Crosby flew into a gap that running back Jaylen Warren – as much of a body size mismatch as there could be – blew into for a key pass block that gave Pickett time to scan his receivers’ routes.

Racing down the center of the field, Austin had a step on a trailing defender and the ball came sailing in for a perfect in-stride catch that allowed the young receiver to thread to defensive backs and an official to quickly get into the end zone.

The pass couldn’t have been any better, and Austin earned his first official NFL touchdown reception on the play.

The play gave the Steelers a 7-7 tie score with the Raiders that held until teammate Chris Boswell kicked a 43-yard field goal in the second quarter. Pittsburgh held a lead the remainder of the game and walked away with the final score, 23-18.

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