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Steelers Daily News & Links: Ex-HC Blasts Steelers, Essex Criticizes Pickett



Steelers QB Kenny Pickett
Steelers QB Kenny Pickett against the Arizona Cardinals, Dec. 3, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Steelers Daily News & Links: Your daily stop for all of the news and links from the Pittsburgh Steelers, NFL and around the Sports Now Group.

🏈 The Cincinnati Bengals upset the Jacksonville Jaguars, 34-31, in overtime on Monday Night Football. In just his second career start, quarterback Jake Browning was nearly flawless, completing 32 of 37 passes (86%) for 354 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 115.0. On third and fourth downs combined, Browning was 10 of 12 for 149 yards and a touchdown, which went for 76 yards. Furthermore, Browning completed every one of his seven pass attempts over 10 air yards on the night, the most downfield completions without an incompletion since Week 16, 2021, per Next Gen Stats.

Browning also scored on a quarterback sneak in the third quarter to tie the game at 28-28. Bengals star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase went off with 11 receptions on 12 targets for 149 yards (13.5 average) and a touchdown. With the stunning road win, the Bengals (6-6) are still in the thick of things in the AFC playoff picture as the 10th seed. A whopping 11 teams in the AFC have at least six wins.


🏈 Former NFL head coach Rex Ryan blasted the Pittsburgh Steelers on ESPN’s Get Up after their embarrassing 24-10 loss to the lowly Arizona Cardinals.

“They’re frauds man. How do you score 10 points at home against the 30th ranked defense? Like that’s ridiculous. Here’s the funny thing… We’re gonna watch them in the playoffs,” Ryan said.

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🏈 The Score: Since 2022, the Steelers are 14-7 when they record a takeaway. In contrast, they’re 2-6 when they don’t have a takeaway. The Steelers did not have a takeaway in Sunday’s 24-10 loss to Arizona. In all seven of their wins this season, they’ve recorded at least one turnover.

🏈 Former Steelers offensive lineman Trai Essex didn’t hold back on X during Sunday’s loss. He made some bold statements on both Kenny Pickett and Mike Tomlin.

“The film doesn’t lie. Kenny is horrible versus any kind of pressure. He doesn’t recognize it,” Essex wrote.

Essex had to be honest in his assessment of his former head coach, as well.

“I am legit trying my best to be even keel and not over react, but the non competitive product we put on the field today is an indictment vs Tomlin. That’s just being real. I love my coach. He usually gets the most out of guys. But this is bad. Plain and simple,” Essex wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

🏈 Bill Belichick, who went a decade between Super Bowl wins (2004-14), is the only time a coach has gone more than six seasons between Super Bowl wins, per Scott Kacsmar. This season marks the 15th year since Mike Tomlin led the Steelers to win Super Bowl XLIII. John Harbaugh is in his 11th year since last winning a Super Bowl in Baltimore.

🎂 Happy Birthday to former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch, born on December 5, 1974 in Homestead, Pennsylvania.

Batch was drafted in the second round by the Detroit Lions out of Eastern Michigan in the 1998 NFL Draft. He was the  Lions’ starter through better parts of the 1998–2001 seasons. He signed with the Steelers in free agency in 2002 to serve as the backup quarterback, a role that he held until the 2012 season. Batch is a member of the Steelers’ 2005 and 2008 Super Bowl championship teams. He currently works for KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh as a pregame analyst for the Steelers as well as a color commentator for their preseason games.

🎥 NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger broke down Cardinals tight end Trey McBride’s impressive performance against the Steelers. McBride caught eight passes on nine targets for 89 yards (11.1 average) and a touchdown.




Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins recalled Alex Nylander. Again.

Pittsburgh Baseball Now: Former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Jim Leyland was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Pittsburgh Sports Now: The College Football Playoff committee snubbed Florida State and the entire ACC.

West Virginia Sports Now: WVU football is headed to the Duke’s Mayo Bowl against North Carolina.

Nittany Sports Now: Penn State football will play in the Peach Bowl against Ole Miss.

Pittsburgh Soccer Now: The Pittsburgh Riverhounds are losing the best defender in the USL.