This has been an interesting game, to say the least, for the Steelers. They trail at halftime 13-9, and the Cowboys will be starting out the half with the ball. A late turnover via Cam Sutton and Minkah Fitzpatrick set up a 59 yard field goal for Chris Boswell.
All eyes will be on the Steelers first offensive drive to see if Ben Roethlisberger returns, or if he is declared out for the game. Somehow, he went 4-4 and a touchdown after suffering a knee injury late in the half. Mason Rudolph was very uninspiring in his limited snaps. The defense might have to carry the half in a big way if the Steelers want to remain undefeated.
Good news, Ben is set to return. Hopefully a mild sprain, but something to monitor if he takes more hits in the 2nd half – would hate for a minor injury to turn serious.
Chris Boswell set a personal record and a team record with the 59 yard attempt as the half expired.
No brace on Ben’s knee to start the half. Hopefully just a contusion?
The Cowboys pick up a first down with a pass over the middle in the first set of downs. The next play, a tricky reverse sweep for a pickup of 8. The Cowboys are near the mid field line. Ezekiel Elliot picked up the first down off the right tackle.
T.J. Watt came in unblocked on first down for the immediate pressure as Gilbert threw the ball away.
Bud Dupree in coverage on Amari Cooper for an 8 yard pickup. 3rd and 2 for the Cowboys. Tony Pollard with a large pickup as T.J. Watt and Stephon Tuitt can’t quite set the edge. 1st and 10 on the 23 yard line. A screen play resulted in a loss of 4 yards.
Garrett Gilbert took a deep shot to the end zone, but it was way overthrown (perhaps on purpose) to bring up 3rd down. 3rd and 13, and a QB hit by Bud Dupree forces the incompletion. The Cowboys kick the field goal and it was good. 16-9 Cowboys.
Still a one possession game. We will see how Ben Roethlisberger’s knee holds up shortly.
Ben dropped back smoothly and completed the pass to Vance McDonald for a short gain. The jet sweep to Diontae Johnson picked up a few more yards on 2nd. Ben went deep and was way off target. He got hit hard after the play and got up which is a good sign. Unfortunately, the Steelers forced to punt and cannot answer the Cowboys field goal.
Garrett Gilbert is 11-17 so far this game. An incompletion on 1st down with a near Joe Haden interception. Bud Dupree brings down Pollard on 2nd down for a gain of 5. 3rd and 5, and Tony Pollard goes off left tackle for the first down and then some.
The tackling issues persist as Steven Nelson fails to bring down Ezekiel Elliot as he goes for the first down.
Ceedee Lamb on 3rd down with Spillane in coverage for an easy conversion. The Steelers got the Cowboys into a 3rd and long, but Ezekiel Elliot span his way to a very near conversion. 4th and inches for the Cowboys and a big decision to make.
The kicker is coming onto the field to make this a two possession game. The kick is good. 19-9 Cowboys.
The Steelers need to draw up a high percentage drive here. No more of the 3rd and long draw, or the 3rd and short home run pass.
Juju Smith-Schuster with the biggest pickup of the game on a screen pass.
Chase Claypool was open on 2nd down on an out route, but wasn’t able to haul it in. The ball was slightly off-target, but it was still catchable. 3rd and 10. Juju, as he did a week ago, with a 3rd quarter signature drive. Converting for a first from the slot in the middle of the field.
An offsides gave Ben a free play, and he goes to the end zone to Chase Claypool, but it was overthrown. Holding on Eric Ebron brings the offense back to 1st and 15.
On 2nd and 6, Ben Roethlisberger with the pump fake and he connects with Juju near the end zone. Juju fights through two receivers for the touchdown.
Chris Boswell’s kick is blocked, so the score is 19-15 Cowboys.
A massive kick return puts the Cowboys right near the red zone. A really poor performance by the Steelers in all three phases today. Ezekiel Elliot has the Cowboys with a fresh set of downs around the 7 yard line. On first down, Elliot picked up two yards. One 2nd, Cameron Heyward batted the ball at the line of scrimmage. A large 3rd down here for the game.
Pressure on the quarterback forced an errant pass by Gilbert which was intercepted by Minkah Fitzpatrick in the end zone. He should have taken the knee for the touchback, but took it out of the endzone. Terrell Edmunds with a blindside block and the Steelers will be pinned back near their own end zone.
A quick out to Diontae Johnson on 1st down falls incomplete. Ray-Ray McCloud for about 8 yards on 2nd down to give the Steelers some breathing room. Chase Claypool converts for a 1st down on a quick wide receiver screen.
Ray-Ray McCloud gets involved again for another pickup of 8, while Diontae gets the first down on a rub route the next play.
Ben Roethlisberger got strip sacked, but there is a flag on the play. Illegal contact on the defense, so the Steelers get the ball back.
Anthony McFarland off the right tackle for a nice pickup and Leighton Vander Esch punched McFarland Jr. in the head. A penalty marker down. The Steelers pick up 15 more yards.
Ben incomplete to Eric Ebron in the middle of the field and then a short two yard pickup to Diontae Johnson along the right sideline.
Ben Roethlisberger batted at the line of scrimmage to what would have been a wide open Chase Claypool. Chris Boswell with the field goal. 19-18 Cowboys.
The two missed extra points are looming large as the Steelers could have just taken the lead, or at least tied. Yet another nail biter on the season.
Another batted pass at the line of scrimmage on 1st. A nine yard pickup for the Cowboys on 2nd. 3rd and short here. Ezekiel Elliot initially stopped short, but the leg drive finishes the play for the first down.
Henry Mondeaux with the stop on the counter run on 2nd. 3rd and 7. The Steelers sent six on the blitz, and Gilbert missed his target with Steven Nelson in coverage.
The Steelers down by one point, with 4:11 to play. The ball on Pittsburgh’s 21 yard line after the punt.
Ben to Juju in the flat, but the ball was thrown too low. Similar story on 2nd down to Chase Claypool. Ben to Claypool in triple coverage. Super late flag, roughing the passer. Steelers get a gift.
Ben to Claypool on first for 9 yards. Ben directing traffic at the line of scrimmage, and it worked as Diontae Johnson was wide open and ran for 42 yards. It looked like he maybe stepped out, but the Steelers ran another play before any challenge. 2nd and 5, and Eric Ebron hurdled the defender to get into the end zone. The Steelers went for two, but the defender tipped the ball away. Incomplete. 24-19 Steelers.
Here it is, another game winning drive opportunity for the opposition with just over 2:00 remaining. The drive starts with a touchback, and 14 yard reception by Amari Cooper for a quick first down to take them to the 2:00 warning.
Robert Spillane in coverage on Dalton Schultz, as the ball gets overthrown and nearly is intercepted by Cameron Sutton. The Steelers are dialing up the blitz now as a six man blitz forces an errant pass and an interception.
3rd and 10, and T.J. Watt nearly gets the interception. The ball somehow gets into the hands of Ezekiel Elliot, but Joe Haden saves the big play by a shoestring tackle. 4th and 8 for the Cowboys. They will go for it as their last hope effort, but Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt split the sack to essentially seal the game.
On 4th down, the Steelers could have kicked the field goal to make it an 8 point game, but instead fail the conversion and the Cowboys get the ball. The first play of their drive, the Cowboys with a long reception to CeeDee Lamb. It was challenged, but it will easily stand. The decision not to kick the field goal was extremely misguided. The Cowboys don’t have any timeouts, but are suddenly at mid field.
First down incomplete over the middle. Second down incomplete on the left sideline to Ezekiel Elliot. On 3rd down, the Steelers sent only four, and a 20 yard completion in the middle of the field. The Cowboys spike the ball with 00:07 remaining in the game with no timeouts.
A quick out, and the Cowboys get out of bounds. 00:04 remaining. Garrett Gilbert tossed the ball to the end zone with a defender running him down from behind. Minkah Fitzpatrick for the 2nd week in a row breaking up the pass to win the game.
The Steelers advance to 8-0 for the first time in franchise history. Wow, that was ugly. A 60 minute failure by coaches and players alike somehow results in a win.
24-19 Steelers. Final.