PITTSBURGH: The Pittsburgh Steelers spent three months flirting with perfection, insisting on a regular basis they had been removed from flawless.
They weren’t fallacious. Pittsburgh’s bid for an unbeaten season is over. Washington’s bid for an unlikely division title may be starting.
Alex Smith threw for 296 yards and a landing, Dustin Hopkins kicked a tiebreaking 45-yard discipline objective with 2:04 remaining, and Washington beat the Steelers 23-17 on Monday night time.
Pittsburgh (11-1) missed an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth and dropped right into a tie with defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City for the highest spot within the AFC with 4 video games remaining. A day after the New York Giants pulled an upset in Seattle, Washington (5-7) saved tempo by rallying from 14 factors all the way down to win in Pittsburgh for the primary time since 1991.
Washington received the Super Bowl that season. The membership’s expectations this yr are way more modest in Ron Rivera’s first season as coach.
Not so in Pittsburgh, which bought off to one of the best begin within the franchise’s 87-year historical past even because the offense often labored in matches and spurts. In a sport pushed again a day as a consequence of a COVID-19 outbreak that compelled the NFL to re-schedule Baltimore’s annual go to to Heinz Field thrice, the little errors Pittsburgh managed to get away with for 11 video games grew to become an excessive amount of to beat.
Ben Roethlisberger handed for 305 yards and two touchdowns, however was picked off by Jon Bostic a former Steeler with 1:59 remaining. Hopkins added one other 45-yard discipline objective to assist shut it out.
Pittsburgh reached midfield on its last possession however time ran out.
The Steelers seemed to be in agency management after Roethlisberger discovered James Washington for a 50-yard landing within the second quarter that put them up 14-0. Pittsburgh is often invincible at Heinz Field when up two scores. Not this time.
Smith, underneath heavy strain a lot of the night time, lastly bought one thing going late within the first half. A Hopkins discipline objective bought the crew on the board within the last seconds. A 1-yard landing run by Peyton Barber halfway by the third quarter pulled Washington inside 14-10, and a lob from Smith to a wide-open Logan Thomas for a 15-yard landing tied it.
Pittsburgh drove into discipline objective vary however relatively than have fill-in Matthew Wright promoted from the apply squad as a consequence of an damage to Chris Boswell try a 45-yard discipline objective into the open finish at Heinz, the Steelers went for it. Roethlisberger’s heave to rookie working again Anthony McFarland Jr. fell incomplete and Smith calmly drove Washington 45 yards in 9 performs to arrange the profitable rating.
Washington: Lost main rusher Antonio Gibson within the first half with a toe damage. Tight finish Tamarrrick Hemingway exited within the first half with a wrist damage.
Steelers: Inside linebacker Robert Spillane, who inherited the job when Devin Bush’s season ended with a knee damage in October, went to the locker room within the third quarter with a knee damage and didn’t return. Cornerback Joe Haden left within the fourth quarter with a doable concussion.
Washington: Travels to Arizona subsequent week to tackle the San Francisco 49ers in a sport relocated as a consequence of COVID-19 restrictions in Santa Clara, California, the positioning of Levi’s Stadium.
Steelers: Face a stiff take a look at subsequent Sunday night time in Buffalo. The Bills beat the Steelers minus Roethlisberger 17-10 at Heinz Field final December to lock up a playoff berth.
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