After a disastrously embarrassing 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers rebounded with a surprising 20-18 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Acrisure Stadium.
Starter Kenny Pickett was knocked out of the game in the third quarter with a concussion, leaving it up to Mitch Trubisky to go the rest of the way. The Steelers’ QB was up to the task, leading the black & gold to a narrow victory over the Bucs in a must-win game for the home team.
The Steelers started strong with a 14 play, 56 yard drive capped by a touchdown toss from Pickett to Najee Harris to make it 7-0 early. Tampa Bay, in what was a common theme throughout the afternoon, was able to move the ball down the field, but couldn’t cash in and put the ball in the end zone. Two fields by Ryan Succop from 30 yards and 27 yards made it a 7-6 after the first quarter. The two teams traded field goals in the second quarter, as Chris Boswell hit from 55 yards out and Succop hit from 54 yards out, and the Steelers led 10-9 at halftime.
A monster kickoff return of 89 yards by Steven Sims started the 3rd quarter, resulting in a chip-shot field goal from Boswell, making it 13-9 Pittsburgh. But an 18 play drive by Tampa ended with a 24 yard field goal from Succop, cutting the lead once again to a single point.
Trubisky took over the third quarter after Pickett was ruled out with a concussion, and led his team down the field on a 9 play, 71 yard drive, capped by a 6 yard touchdown connection to Chase Claypool to make it 20-12.
Not surprisingly, Tom Brady led the Buccaneers down the field in a methodical, 17 play drive. His 11 yard touchdown pass to Leonard Fournette made it 20-18, but the two point conversion failed, and the Steelers remained in the lead.
The Buccaneers were never able to get any closer, and the defense couldn’t stop the Steelers’ offense when it mattered most in the final minutes of the game.
Following one of the worst losses in recent memory, the Steelers responded with a victory this afternoon that no one thought was possible. The defense played well, primarily holding the Bucs to field goals instead of touchdowns. And as for the offense…they did just enough, and made key plays when it mattered most to sneak away with the victory.
The Steelers will now face the Miami Dolphins in a key AFC matchup next Sunday.
Overall Record: 2-4