The Pittsburgh Steelers' playoff hopes are alive after the rookie tandem of Kenny Pickett and George Pickens led them to a come-from-behind 13-10 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday night.
Pickett hit Pickens in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown with 46 seconds remaining to give the Steelers their first and only lead of the game.
UNREAL.<br><br>Pickett to Pickens to give the <a href="https://twitter.com/steelers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@steelers</a> the lead with less than a minute left!<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LVvsPIT?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LVvsPIT</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLNetwork</a> <br>📱: Stream on NFL+ <a href="https://t.co/VCKxO9Jfbs">pic.twitter.com/VCKxO9Jfbs</a>
The touchdown capped off a 10-play, 76-yard drive after Pittsburgh's offense gained a total of 42 yards in the previous three drives combined.
Since coming out of the bye in Week 10, Pittsburgh has won five of seven games to move their overall record to 7-8.
Perhaps more important than its record, though, is the continued growth of Pickett at quarterback and Pickens showing off the ability to make plays in a big moment.
Daniel Valente @StatsGuyDaniel
Name a better combo than a Steelers QB and leading a game-winning drive in a Christmas game.<br><br>No one forgets the immaculate extension in 2016.<br><br>And now Kenny Pickett made his own memorable moment against the Raiders as the Steelers honored the Immaculate Reception.
Pickett, who returned to the lineup after missing last week's game with a concussion, finished 26-of-39 for 244 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Pickens had 57 yards and one touchdown on five receptions.
While the stat line for neither player is going to jump out, their connection on the go-ahead drive was apparent. Pickett went 7-of-9 for 75 yards, picked up a 4th-and-1 on a sneak to keep the drive alive and immediately looked to Pickens on his first pass to the end zone.
Pickett is completing 62.5 percent of his attempts for 1,079 yards with three touchdowns and one interception since Week 10.
Pittsburgh's defense also did a fantastic job of keeping the Raiders in check. Vegas finished with just 201 yards in the loss.
The Steelers' victory kept Mike Tomlin's streak of non-losing seasons as a head coach alive. More important than that, they were able to stay alive in the AFC playoff race with a 7-8 record.
They still need a lot of help to get in, starting with the Los Angeles Chargers losing to the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night. But the door isn't shut for a team that looked buried after a 35-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 30 that left them with a 2-6 record.