PITTSBURGH — The Steelers defense stood up and secured a victory on Sunday, breaking up three consecutive Los Angeles Rams passes to stop one late drive and then intercepting Jared Goff on another as the Steelers prevailed 17-12 to win their fourth straight game and improve to 5-4 on the season.
Minkah Fitzpatrick intercepted Goff’s pass after it was tipped by Joe Haden with 41 seconds to play.
The Steelers defense forced four turnovers, two of them coming from Fitzpatrick, and held the Rams to 88 rushing yards in the victory.
Pittsburgh first took the lead on Minkah Fitzpatrick’s second defensive touchdown in as many weeks. He scooped up a Jared Goff forward fumble and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown. It was the first time a Steelers defensive player scored on back-to-back weeks since 1984.
From there, the offense did just enough to salt away the victory, with a long fourth-quarter scoring drive ending in a 33-yard Chris Boswell field goal that made the Rams try for the end zone late.
Mason Rudolph connected with James Washington on a fade route in the end zone for the Steelers’ only other score.
Rudolph finished 22 of 38 for 242 yards, but the passing offense was hobbled by a significant number of drops by Steelers receivers in critical circumstances.
The Steelers running game did little against a stout Los Angeles front and missing James Conner, Benny Snell, Roosevelt Nix and Ramon Foster. Jaylen Samuels had 14 carries for just 29 yards.
The offense also handed the Rams nine points, two on a fourth-quarter safety and seven after a bad shotgun snap from Maurkice Pouncey to Rudolph was returned for a touchdown on the game’s opening drive.
The Steelers will attempt to continue their winning streak on a short week, as they will visit the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night.
Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/18/20
James Conner tested out his injured ankle and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw passes to JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Chase Claypool during practice on Friday, September 18, 2020.
This practice was in preparation for the Steelers week 2 game on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
Cam Heyward Named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 1
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward has been named NFLPA Community MVP for Week 1.
Heyward was honored for installing his first Little Free Library, a book-sharing box placed in underserved communities around the Pittsburgh area.
Congrats to @camheyward on being named Week 1 #CommunityMVP for installing his first Little Free Library. The book-sharing boxes provide 24-7 access to literacy for underserved Pittsburgh communities while honoring the legacy in education of his late grandfather. pic.twitter.com/uKwbnz28A1— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 18, 2020
Little Free Library is a non-profit organization that “inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.”
The installation of the book-sharing boxes marks the launch of the Rufus and Judy Jordan Literacy Project, a new initiative of the Cameron Heyward Foundation that will work to promote children’s literacy and honor his late grandparents, both of whom were lifelong educators in Pittsburgh.
Drafted in first round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, Heyward has spend his entire career in Pittsburgh. He is a three-time Pro Bowler, and has twice received First-Team All-Pro honors.
Heyward and the Steelers agreed to a four-year, $71.4 million contract extension on Sept. 6 that will allow him to retire in Pittsburgh and make him the highest-paid defense player over the age of 30 in NFL history.
Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/17/20
The Steelers finally experienced a practice with almost everyone on the roster able to take the field. Only two players did not take part in practice before their week 2 game against Denver.
Alex Highsmith and Minkah Fitzpatrick stood out from the rest on Thursday, September 17, 2020.