Week 1 is over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are 1-0 after a 23-20 chaotic overtime win against the Cincinnati Bengals.
After each team missed potential game-winning field goals, Chris Boswell nailed a 54-yard kick in the waning seconds of overtime to give Pittsburgh the win. But if you saw the first half of the game, you wouldn’t have believed this is how it ended.
The Steelers defense came out swinging, starting with Minkah Fitzpatrick’s pick-six less than three minutes into the game. Several turnovers later, Pittsburgh went into halftime with a 17-6 lead.
Unfortunately, the second half saw Cincinnati chip away at that lead until it was 20-14 in the fourth quarter. Joe Burrow hit Ja’Marr Chase for a touchdown with two seconds left in the game, seemingly handing them the win. Fitzpatrick struck again, however, blocking Evan McPherson’s extra point attempt to send the game into overtime.
Pittsburgh won the coin toss and got the ball first but did nothing with their possession. Cincinnati then marched down the field and set up McPherson for an easy 29-yard chip shot to win it. But he missed the kick, giving the Steelers another chance. As fate would have it, though, Boswell missed his attempt too, and overtime continued.
Finally, Mitch Trubisky led Pittsburgh down into Cincy territory, thanks to a couple catches by Pat Freiermuth. As time expired, Boswell made this kick count, sending the Steelers home with the win.
This game was certainly wild and not for the faint of heart. To think, we only have 17 more weeks of this to look forward to!
For the Bengals, too many missed opportunities and turnovers sealed their fate. When it was all said and done, the offense gave up seven sacks, four interceptions, and five turnovers. Those kinds of stats don’t win you football games.
However, the Steelers didn’t shine on the offensive side of the ball either. They did just enough to win, while the defense almost single-handedly carried the team to victory. Trubisky didn’t make any big mistakes but didn’t overly impress either. The offensive line’s struggles continued as well, ensuring that there was absolutely no run game for Pittsburgh. So sadly, Steelers fans may have a sense of déjà vu after watching this one.
But the big news coming out of the game for Pittsburgh was the injuries to TJ Watt and Najee Harris. Reports state that Watt may have suffered a torn pec, while Harris reinjured his foot. Losing either of them for any amount of time is a massive blow to the team. Even though Harris has struggled to set up his run game, he is still a big piece of the offense.
Watt, of course, is the biggest playmaker of the defense. His potential replacement has an almost impossible challenge ahead of them, having to fill in for someone of Watt’s talent. While the defense will surely step up, missing the reigning Defensive Player of the Year is something they can’t avoid.
Steelers Week 2 Preview
Next up for the Steelers is their home opener Sunday afternoon against the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick and company will look to avenge their 20-7 beatdown at the hands of the Miami Dolphins. They may also be without their starting quarterback, Mac Jones, who suffered a back injury against Miami.
Additionally, this will be the first time in almost two decades both teams face off without their franchise QBs. Ben Roethlisberger retired last season, while Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020.
Hopefully the Steelers come into week 2 as healthy as possible. Until then, get ready Steelers Nation, because football is back in the Steel City!