In the end, the Pittsburgh Steelers just wouldn’t die Sunday afternoon at Paycor Stadium against the Cincinnati Bengals in AFC North football.
For team captain and defensive leader Cameron Heyward, a Steelers defense that was mostly made up of zombies late in the game found one last gasp in overtime, resulting in a stop that set up Chris Boswell’s 53-yard game-winning field goal as time expired, giving the Steelers a thrilling win in a relatively ugly game.
On the day, the Steelers’ defense was on the field for 43 minutes and 43 seconds and also saw T.J. Watt go down with a potentially devastating injury, as well as a number of depth pieces cycled into and out of the game to try and keep players fresh.
Watching Boswell’s game-winning kick sail through the uprights for the win though set off jubilation on the Steelers’ sideline, putting an end to a crazy game that was nothing but “fun” for Heyward in the AFC North.
“It’s fun. It’s been a minute. You know, to come here, AFC North [football, was it perfect? No, just fun,” Heyward said to reporters following the win, according to video via the Steelers’ official YouTube page. “It’s one of those games, it keeps going back and forth, man. Who’s gonna win it?
“Missing those field goals was like, ‘we don’t die.’ By the time Boz [Boswell] went out for the last one, I was like, ‘oh, we gotta make this because man, we’ve been zombies the entire game.’ They’ve tried to put us out and tried to kill us, but we just kept bouncing back.”
That’s exactly what the Steelers looked like, especially defensively, in overtime. Somehow, some way, the black and gold found a way to win. They wouldn’t die, the defended every possible blade of grass that they were given, and came out with a huge win, not only to open the season, but in the AFC North standings as well.
Lots of 2019 vibes coming off with the Steelers right now, with the defense playing lights out, the offense struggling, and Chris Boswell kicking them to a win late. Hopefully that’s not the case the entire season, because the Steelers’ defense will go from looking likes zombies, to potentially being zombies as some point in 2022.