It looked like the Steelers season was going to end on Sunday Night Football in Baltimore in another loss to the Tyler Huntley led Ravens, and then Kenny Pickett happened. Excuse me, that’s Kenny f’ing Pickett actually.
Now, the Steelers are 8-8 and with a little bit of help from their AFC East friends, they could find themselves sneaking into the playoffs in Week 18 for the second straight year. The 7-9 Cleveland Browns are eliminated from contention, but they have a chance to play spoiler to their big brother and as Myles Garrett put it they “live for times like this.”
Ben took the Steelers to the playoffs in his rookie year, he didn’t need to sneak in the backdoor for the seventh seed, but still if Kenny can get them there, it’s a great step for Pittsburgh’s next franchise QB.
Browns vs. Steelers Odds, Spread and Total
Pittsburgh and Cleveland Betting Trends
Pittsburgh is 9-6-1 ATS
Cleveland is 8-8 ATS
The Under is 10-6 in Pittsburgh’s games
Browns vs. Steelers Prediction and Pick
Notice how I didn’t say the man who might be Pittsburgh’s next franchise QB, or potentially Pittsburgh’s next franchise guy, that’s because Kenny Pickett arrived on Sunday Night. He threw for just 168 yards in just his 11th NFL start for a 16-13 win, and yet he answered every question and checked every box that matters.
There are quarterbacks in the NFL that are big stats guys who can lead you for three quarters, or system guys who can survive with play action early in games, but most of those guys crumble when it matters. Kenny Pickett is the opposite. He entered the fourth quarter on Sunday night with under 100 yards passing and with his team down 13-6. He led a field goal drive early, and then got the ball back with just under three minutes on the clock, on his own 20-yard line, on the road, needing a touchdown, against the division rival. What happened next was legendary stuff.
It was just three throws and yet, that was all he needed to put the biggest smile on my face I’ve had watching the Steelers since the moments just before Jesse James’s touchdown was taken away (Big Ben’s victory lap around Heinz Field last year aside). It was the second straight week with a game-winning drive where Kenny Pickett didn’t flinch once. He was perfect. I was on the couch back home in Pittsburgh for both, but his latest heroics were special.
This game made me sure of it. He’s the guy, Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert got this right, we have our quarterback, and in the NFL if you’ve got a quarterback, you’ve always got a chance.
Kenny was on the sidelines for Pittsburgh’s Week 3 loss to the Browns, but I think after last week, Ben dropped off his ownership deed to the city of Cleveland in Kenny’s mailbox.
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