It's 2023, and the first day of the new year ends with a big NFL matchup. The Pittsburgh Steelers will take on the Baltimore Ravens tonight (Jan. 1) in the Week 17 edition of Sunday Night Football. The game will kick off at 8:20 p.m. ET and air on NBC. It will stream on Peacock, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports App and NFL+ for mobile users.
The Steelers (7-8) are not out of the playoff race yet as they are one game behind the Miami Dolphins for the final spot in the AFC playoff standings. However, the Steelers have to win tonight and next week to give themselves a chance. Pittsburgh has been playing good football, winning four of their previous five games. Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett is growing into a quality player, leading the Steelers to two fourth-quarter comebacks this year, including last week's 13-10 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.
"I imagine he was born with it," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said, per the team's official website. "I know that it's not the first time I've seen it. I know it's not the first time that people from Western PA have seen it. We've seen him do it (at Pitt). I think that's why we have such a great deal of comfort in his intangible quality and from a draft-evaluation perspective. We were in close proximity to it. And when you're in close proximity to it, it becomes less intangible. You can almost feel it. It is real. I don't think any of us are surprised by it."
The Ravens (10-5) have clinched a playoff spot but have a shot of winning the AFC North. They need to win tonight for that to happen, and that will be a challenge since quarterback Lamar Jackson has been ruled out for the fourth consecutive week due to a knee injury. This means that backup QB Tyler Huntley will get another start, and he's ready for the challenge.
"It feels good that I'm getting a lot of reps, and it feels good to be playing at a time when football is most important – around these times of playoffs [and] getting ready to go into playoffs," Huntley said per the Ravens' official website. "It's an appreciation, for sure."