Pittsburgh Holds Onto Lead After Bucs’ Second Half Surge

Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh’s offense found a groove early in this game, reaching right around the 50-yard line on their second drive, but a pass intended for JuJu Smith-Schuster was intercepted by Justin Evans put an end to their promising drive.

Ryan Fitzpatrick got his chance to put some points on the board for the home crowd, connecting with Mike Evans and O.J. Howard for nice gains downfield. Some nice running by Peyton Barber eventually lead to a touchdown reception for tight end Cameron Brate. Buccaneers lead 7 to 0.

Three plays into their next drive, Big Ben found Vance McDonald wide open and he took it to the house for a 75-yard touchdown, unfortunately Chris Boswell couldn’t hit the extra point so Pittsburgh trails 6 to 7. Let’s not overlook the incredible stiff arm by McDonald on the play.

Fitzpatrick continued to look sharp on the next drive, hitting both of his tight ends for big gains. Anthony Chickillo put an end to the Fitzmagic with a huge sack, to put the ball back into Pittsburgh’s possession on offense.

When Big Ben got the ball back in his hands, he made some magic of his own with this great connection to JuJu.

Pittsburgh would ultimately have to send Boswell back out on the field, this time he would convert the attempt. Steelers lead 9 to 7 with the 38-yard field goal.

The Steelers defense came up with a huge takeaway as Artie Burns came up with a big time play, knocking the ball out of Chris Godwin‘s hands and Mike Hilton came in for the recovery.

The offense would further add to their lead, Big Ben found Antonio Brown and AB went to work making two defenders miss on the 27-yard touchdown. Boswell keeps his composure and hits the extra point, Steelers lead 16 to 7.

The Bucs made their way downfield with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but Mike Hilton made yet another big defensive play, intercepting Fitzpatrick on a pass deflected by Jon Bostic.

Pittsburgh’s defense continued to shine, as rookie Terrell Edmunds came up with an interception of his own.

To follow Edmunds’ interception, Bud Dupree joined in on the defensive show with a pick-six to put Pittsburgh up 23 to 7.

Big Ben found himself back on the field with the less than two minutes left, after a Tampa Bay field goal left the score, 23 to 10. Roethlisberger found AB, JuJu, and James Washington for big gains to put the offense in the red-zone once more. Ryan Switzer was able to get open for his first touchdown with his new team. Steelers lead 30 to 10 at half time.

After another Tampa Bay field goal, Roethlisberger and the offense got their first chance to put points on the board in the second half. Big Ben found JuJu on several plays to chip away at the Bucs’ defense. Unfortunately, when Pittsburgh got within field goal range, Boswell missed from 47 yards out.

After a 5 minute drive by the Bucs, Fitzpatrick was able to take advantage of a couple Pittsburgh penalties and found Chris Godwin in the back of the end-zone for a touchdown. Bucs still trail 30 to 20.

On Tampa Bay’s next offensive possession, Fitzpatrick lead the Bucs downfield through the air and on his feet. O.J. Howard was a big part of the offense’s effectiveness, but at the end of the drive it was Mike Evans who capped off things off with a nice 24-yard touchdown catch to put them back within 3. Pittsburgh still leads, 30 to 27.

Pittsburgh was able to stifle Tampa Bay’s second half heroics to hold on to their lead, and therefore snag their first win of the season.

Stat Leaders of the Game

Ben Roethlisberger 30 for 38 353 Yards 3 Touchdowns

James Conner 15 Rushing Attempts 61 Yards

JuJu Smith-Schuster 9 Receptions 119 Yards

Jon Bostic 6 Tackles 1 Sack 2 Pass Deflections

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *