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Kenny Pickett: The Steelers new ‘Captain Comeback’

It’s been unfair to compare Ken to Ben.... until now

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

At the beginning of this season, no one thought we’d be talking about history-making quarterbacks in Pittsburgh, the year after Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement, especially when it comes to fourth quarter heroics. Ben is one of the all-time greatest players in the fourth, and the 2022 Steelers offense has been junior varsity at times in the closing quarter. That is, until Kenny Pickett entered the chat.

It looks like KP8 is already writing his name in the history books. Sports analytics company Opta Stats says Pickett is the first rookie ever to have last minute game-winning touchdowns in back-to-back games. Ben had fourth quarter comebacks his rookie season, but he never had to find the end zone with his arm in the last minute. As Scott Kacsmar of the Pro Football Writers Association noted, Kenny has been thrown to the fire in his rookie season. He’s already been asked four times to lead a game-winning touchdown drive with five minutes or less on the clock. That’s a situation Ben wasn’t as familiar with until much further in his career.

Kenny’s last-minute rookie heroics may be unprecedented, but Ben is the king of the fourth quarter. He’s got 53 game-winning drives, and 41 fourth-quarter comebacks. But Kenny is already starting to make his own name in the fourth. He’s earned his 3rd fourth quarter comeback (Ben had 4 his rookie year), and if Kenny can follow Ben’s lead and repeat this for another 5+ seasons, and he’ll be on his way to Canton.

Kenny is now 226th on the all-time fourth quarter comeback leaderboard, tied with Mark Malone among others. Ben is 3rd on that list. But if Kenny pulls off another fourth quarter victory against Cleveland, he’ll leap to number 207, tied with Mitch Trubisky and Jim Miller.

Kyle Chrise is the host of the BTSC podcast “What Yinz Talkin’ Bout.” New episodes are released every Thursday. Check out the latest episode in the player below: