Steelers keep playoff hopes alive with late rally vs. Raiders as they honor Franco Harris

Playing in the frigid cold while honoring late great Franco Harris, the Pittsburgh Steelers rallied for a 13-10 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday to keep their playoff hopes alive in dramatic fashion.

After trailing the majority of the game and failing to find the end zone, the Steelers scored a go-ahead touchdown on a 14-yard pass from Kenny Pickett to George Pickens with 46 seconds remaining.

They then sealed the victory with a Cameron Sutton interception of Derek Carr with 39 seconds left to thwart a Raiders rally. The interception was Carr's third of the game on a day where both teams struggled to move the ball.

The win arrived in the bitter conditions as the game kicked off at 8 degrees, the second-coldest home game in Steelers history. It also kept alive head coach Mike Tomlin's shot at extending his 15-season streak without a losing record. The Steelers, who would have been eliminated from the playoffs with a loss, improved to 7-8 to keep their slim postseason hopes alive. The Raiders dropped to 6-9 and are all but eliminated from the playoffs, though they remain mathematically alive.

Pickett finished the day completing 26 of 39 passes for 244 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Carr completed 16 of 30 passes for 174 yards with a touchdown and the three turnovers. Pittsburgh outgained Las Vegas, 350 yards to 201.

Steelers pay tribute to Franco Harris, retire jersey

On Wednesday, the Steelers lost an icon with the death of Harris, a name synonymous with the franchise and one of the most famous plays in football history. They paid tribute to Harris before and during the game, a day after the 50th anniversary of the immaculate reception. At halftime, they retired his No. 32.

As Pittsburgh players arrived pregame, they did so wearing Harris' No. 32 jersey. All-Pro defenders Minkah Fitzpatrick and T.J. Watt were among the players the Steelers featured in a social media video.

Prior to kickoff, the Steelers held a moment of silence for Harris as fans in the stands wore No. 32 jerseys.

At halftime, Steelers president Art Rooney II announced that the franchise was retiring his No. 32.

Several players from the 1972 Steelers team, including "Mean" Joe Greene, were on site to celebrate Harris and the anniversary of the immaculate reception.

Earlier Saturday, former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw — who threw the immaculate reception pass — paid tribute to his late friend and teammate on Fox.

"Just a great man, great personality, big smile," Bradshaw said while holding back tears. "Great teammate, never raised his voice. Never pointed a finger. Someone that I can't stop thinking about and won't for a long time — never will stop thinking about him. Just a great man. I'm gonna miss him. And all his friends are gonna miss him."

He later narrated a highlight video honoring Franco.

Harris was one of the great winners in football history, a part of four Super Bowl championship teams while piling up individual accolades as a nine-time Pro Bowl running back and Hall of Famer. His inspiration on Saturday was fitting as the Steelers faced a matchup against the Raiders with their postseason hopes at stake.

Harris' immaculate reception helped beat the Raiders in an AFC divisional playoff game 50 years ago. Saturday's win against the Raiders was a fitting tribute to his memory.

Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (left) and center Mason Cole wear Franco Harris' No. 32. (Charles LeClaire/Reuters)
Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (left) and center Mason Cole wear Franco Harris' No. 32. (Charles LeClaire/Reuters) (USA TODAY USPW / reuters)