Steelers Defense Does It Again in Thriller Against Rams; Win 17-12

By Jared Villani

The first drive for the Pittsburgh Steelers could not have gone worse when a bad snap from center Maurkice Pouncey to quarterback Mason Rudolph resulted in a defensive touchdown for Los Angeles Rams linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. with the scoop and score. Rams get off to an immediate lead, 7-0.

After back and forth play in the first quarter, the Steelers put themselves on the board after Rudolph capped off an 82-yard drive with precise strikes to WR’s Diontae Johnson and ultimately James Washington for a 3-yard touchdown pass. Steelers even the score at 7 after the former Oklahoma State tandem connect for the Pittsburgh touchdown.

Rudolph to this point looked very comfortable, making throws downfield as he did back at Oklahoma State and standing in the pocket despite being under pressure for much of the game.

Is anyone still thinking Pittsburgh gave up too much for Minkah Fitzpatrick at this point? As if his play-making abilities prior to this game weren’t enough to convince doubters, Fitzpatrick recovered a Jared Goff fumble for a 39-yard defensive score after Javon Hargrave brought the pressure. Steelers take a 14-7 lead.

After Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein missed a 56-yard field goal attempt to end the first half, the score remained 14-7.

The Steelers defense continued it’s incredible defensive performance to this point in the game as both Joe Haden and even running back Trey Edmunds made big-time interceptions to stifle Los Angeles’ normally high-powered offense.

The Steelers offense were stagnant so far in the second half and a poor return by Ryan Switzer forced Rudolph to play with his back against the wall. Rams reigning Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald made a big play and got to Rudolph for a safety to put Los Angeles within two points, now 14-12.

A gutsy call to go for it on 4th and 1 ended up going the Steelers way after a short pass to Trey Edmunds extended the drive. Rudolph continued to find open receivers downfield, but it was his connection with Washington that was the difference maker for the Steelers.

Although this was Rudolph’s best drive of the day, it would end with Chris Boswell capping off the drive with a 33-yard field goal to put the Steelers ahead 17-12.

After poor clock management by Pittsburgh and an untimely penalty, the Steelers defense stayed resilient as T.J. Watt and none other than Minkah Fitzpatrick came through with huge plays on the final drive of this game. Fitzpatrick finished this one off with an interception to end the game.


Pittsburgh Stat Leaders

Mason Rudolph 22 for 38 242 Yards and 1 Touchdown

Jaylen Samuels 14 for 29 Yards

James Washington 6 Receptions 90 Yards 1 Touchdown

Minkah Fitzpatrick 1 Interception 1 Fumble Recovery for a Touchdown 4 Tackles

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