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Steelers Week 16 Postgame Recap And Commentary

It was arguably the most flawless and unexpected performance we have seen from the Pittsburgh Steelers in resent memory.

With all the drama leading into a pivotal game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Mike Tomlin and his undermanned Steelers put together an impressive 34-11 win, improving their record to 8-7 and perhaps increasing their playoff hopes in the process.

The biggest story of the game was receiver George Pickens, who was the target of media criticism all week. He would silence the critics with the game of his career, finishing with an incredible 195 receiving yards on four receptions and two touchdowns. He would start the game with an 86-yard catch-and-run touchdown and wouldn't look back. In the process, he would surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career.

In his first start in more than two seasons, Mason Rudolph's performance somewhat eclipsed Pickens's. From the very first pass to the very last, he was quick and efficient. Rudolph had 290 passing yards on 17 completions and two touchdowns by the time the game was ended. The fact that he completed passes to six different pass catchers is even more astounding. The entire Acrisure Stadium was cheering his name during his performance.

On defense, the reserve secondary defied the odds and came up with a gutsy performance.

In his first start of the season, defensive back Eric Rowe would register an interception. Veteran cornerback-turned-safety, Patrick Peterson, would also register an interception to help the Steelers' defense. Up front, they would be led by the duo of Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt, who combined for two sacks, two passes defensed, and three tackles. Linebaker Myles Jack, who was elevated to the main roster less than two days ago, had a solid showing with a sack and six tackles.

Many would suggest that Rudolph should continue as the team's starting quarterback to finish the season, despite Kenny Pickett being close to returning from his ankle injury. After what he showed, Rudolph fully earned the opportunity to show that he could lead this team to a playoff spot.


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