The Pittsburgh Steelers are still in playoff contention with an 8-8 record heading into the final week of the 2022 NFL regular season, thanks in large part to the late-game heroics of rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett. The 24-year-old Pickett was instrumental in the last two wins of the Steelers, as he led the team to game-winning drives in Week 16’s 13-10 home win over the Las Vegas Raiders and in the following week’s 16-13 victory on the road against the Baltimore Ravens.

Kenny Pickett still has a long way to go before he could be deemed a franchise quarterback, but that’s not stopped former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger from apologizing during a recent episode of his Footbahlin podcast for underestimating the rookie (h/t Joe Cammarota of Steelers Depot).

“I severely, in my opinion, underestimated Kenny. I think he throws the ball better than I thought, he runs way better than I expected and thought his decision-making is really really good, his leadership, his toughness, [he has] just enough of an edge to him it looks like. So I apologize, not that I made this vocal to anybody else, but in my own head. Kenny, keep doing what you’re doing because you are leading this team and becoming the guy that everyone was hoping you would be. I think the sky is the limit for him, really.”

Kenny Pickett is going through growing pains in his first year in the NFL, but the success the Steelers are having of late is indicative that he is doing something right under center, even if Pittsburgh isn’t scoring a ton of points. The Steelers are averaging just 17.5 points per outing — second-fewest in the NFL.

So far this season, Pickett has passed for 2,209 yards and six touchdowns against nine interceptions. Over his last two starts, the Steelers signal-caller has passed for 412 yards and two touchdowns with an interception on a 62.1 percent completion rate.