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Final: 49ers 24, Steelers 20

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FOURTH QUARTER

0:37 The Steelers turn the ball over on downs and that should do it.

1:15 Jimmy Garropolo finds Dante Pettis in front fo Steven Nelson to give the 49ers a late lead.

24-20 San Francisco.

2:00 Mark Barron flagged for defensive holding gives the 49ers a first and goal.

Even worse for the Steelers, defensive lineman Cameron Heyward leaves the game with an injury.

4:30 Huge fumble by James Conner after the Steelers had just grabbed their fifth turnover on defense. San Francisco again with life on offense in good field position.

10:22 The 49ers lost starting cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and Mason Rudolph went right at backup Jason Verrett.

The Steelers got a defensive pass interference call on the first play and a wide-open touchdown from Rudolph to Johnson on the second.

20-17 Steelers back on top.

THIRD QUARTER

0:56 San Francisco answers right back with a surgical drive. Jeff Wilson once again punches it in from a short-yardage situation.

The Niners drive went 75 yards over 10 plays and took 4:46.

17-13 San Francisco.

5:42 Rudolph finally found JuJu Smith-Schuster. The Steelers star wideout had been kept in check all day, but Rudolph hit him on a slant and Smith-Schuster did the rest, taking off 76 yards down the left sideline for a score.

Steelers back in front, 13-10.

9:17 The Steelers defense couldn’t hold them forever. Jeff Wilson scores on the ground from 1 yard out.

Niners take the lead, 10-6.

13:59 Mason Rudolph with an ill-advised throw for his first interception of the game. Not the start to the second half the Steelers offense was looking for.

SECOND QUARTER

1:12 Mason Rudolph is sacked by Dee Ford for a 5-yard loss. The Steelers offense continues to struggle in a battle of defenses.

6:45 The 49ers get on the scoreboard thanks to a 24-yard field goal by Robbie Gould.

10:00Vance McDonald leaves the game with a shoulder injury. His return is listed as questionable.

11:29 San Francisco turns it over for the fourth time on the day after another fumble recovery by Bush. That’s already one more than they’ve had all season.

15:00 Devin Bush recovers a fumble for the third turnover by the Steelers defense.

FIRST QUARTER

2:04 Pittsburgh settles for a 26-yard field goal by Boswell.

4:52 The newest Steeler Minkah Fitzpatrick snags an interception and then returns it 14 yards. It’s his first pick of the season.

10:49 Tuitt with the sack. He now has 3.5 sacks on the year, which is already almost to the 5.5 he had all of last year.

13:54 T.J. Watt makes an early impact in the game after intercepting Jimmy Garoppolo.

11:47 Chris Boswell connects on a 46-yard field goal to give Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead.

It’s the Pittsburgh Steelers versus the San Francisco 49ers from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

GAMEDAY INFO

Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, 4:25 p.m.
Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California

TV/Radio: KDKA Channel 2 (Pittsburgh) and CBS (Nationally), Steelers Radio Network (102.5 WDVE-FM)

PITTSBURGH WEATHER NOW FORECAST

INACTIVES

STEELERS: WR Donte Moncrief

49ERS:

INJURY UPDATES

OUT: Steelers FB Roosevelt Nix (knee), LB Anthony Chickillo (foot), LB Vince Williams (hamstring); 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (ankle), T Joe Staley (fibula), WR Jalen Hurd (back), WR Trent Taylor (foot)
DOUBTFUL: None
QUESTIONABLE: 49ers DE Dee Ford (quad), DE Nick Bosa (ankle), S Jaquisky Tartt (toe), DB Jimmie Ward (hand)

STEELERS NOW COVERAGE THIS WEEK

Pitt Coach Pat Narduzzi on Mason Rudolph: ‘People are Going to Be Shocked’

Mic Drop: Making Sense of the Minkah Fitzpatrick Trade

Can Play-Action Be the Key to Success for Steelers Offense Under Rudolph?

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson Starting ‘From Here on Out’

Steelers

NFL Network Analysts Call Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger 3rd-Best in AFC North

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It appears that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is likely to return to the Pittsburgh Steelers, with both Roethlisberger’s agent and team president Art Rooney II making public statements that each party desires a return for 2021 this week.

But how much of a difference-maker will Roethlisberger be? That depends on his level of play this coming season.

NFL Network analysts and former NFL players Willie McGinest and LaDainian Tomlinson each ranked the quarterbacks of the AFC North and both said they think Roethlisberger is the third-best quarterback in the division, behind Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson and Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield.

“I’m not taking anything away from Ben,” McGinest said. “Lamar Jackson is special and I put Baker in front of Ben because of what we’ve seen in the progression of Baker the last couple of years. … I see him getting better and Ben fighting father time, with the skills diminishing just a little bit.”

“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” Tomlinson said. “We’ve seen, in spurts, Big Ben play well. He started out hot. But he didn’t finish so well. … He looked old and beat up toward the end of the season. I’m just not sure that improves.”

Statistically, Roethlisberger finished first amongst the four AFC North passers in completion percentage, but he was fourth in yards per attempt and third in passer rating and QBR. Pro Football Focus ranked Roethlisberger last of the division’s four starters in 2020.

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Steelers

NFL Head Coach: Bud Dupree’s Injury Cause for Uncertainty Entering Free Agency

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Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree is set to hit free agency in a matter of weeks, but one head coach believes he could be waiting a while to sign.

Speaking with FanSided’s Matt Lombardo, an NFL head coach, speaking anonymously, said Dupree’s season-ending knee injury has made his free agency outlook uncertain.

“Bud Dupree is someone that is a real question mark for me,” the head coach told FanSided. “If he was healthy, he’s easily the top pass-rusher hitting the open market, and teams would pay a king’s ransom to sign him. But, with him coming off a torn ACL, what exactly are you committing to? Does he want to go back to Pittsburgh? Who knows, but he’s someone that I think will wind up having to wait a while to sign.”

Lombardo compares Dupree’s situation to Tennessee Titans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney last offseason.

While he had not suffered a significant injury the season prior with the Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks, Clowney signed with Tennessee on just a one-year, $12-million deal. He had been expected to be paid handsomely on a lengthier contract, which obviously did not come to fruition.

Clowney was virtually invisible for the Titans, recording no sacks in eight games before being placed on injured reserve in November.

Due to his torn ACL, Dupree could find himself having to settle on a cheaper, one-year “prove it” deal as well. Ideally he would then cash in during the 2022 free agency period is all goes as planned.

Dupree was having another stellar season before tearing his ACL in the Steelers’ Week 12 win over the Baltimore Ravens. He had eight sacks, eight tackles for loss, 15 quarterback hits and a pair of forced fumbles through eleven games.

After playing last season under the franchise tag, which paid Dupree $15.828 million, the Steelers’ dire salary cap situation will most likely prevent them from bringing him back. Still, the brass of the organization has expressed their desire to do so if circumstances were different.

While the knee injury remains a concern, Dupree shared he was ahead of schedule in his recovery when he joined NFL Network’s Good Morning Football late last month.

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Steelers

Steelers, Giant Eagle Teaming Up for Mass Vaccination Site at Heinz Field

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The Pittsburgh Steelers and Giant Eagle are joining forces to establish a mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Heinz Field.

Set to begin on Tuesday, March 2, the initiative will run the length of the week, with plans to have additional vaccination days throughout the month.

“The Steelers have had a long relationship, a long partnership, with Giant Eagle going back decades now,” Team President Art Rooney II told Steelers.com, “and so when Giant Eagle Pharmacy wanted to set up a vaccination site at Heinz Field we thought it was a great idea. A great opportunity to really help them serve the community, and so we’re excited it’s going to happen.”

Giant Eagle pharmacists will be administering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Heinz Field. With the vaccine requiring two separate doses of the shot spaces 21 day apart, recipients will be scheduled for a follow-up appointment.

“They need a large venue,” Rooney said. “They’re going to try to vaccinate thousands of people over the course of a week, and so they need a large venue to accomplish that. Obviously, ample parking is available (around Heinz Field) at this time of the year, so it really is a perfect fit for Heinz Field and Giant Eagle at this point.”

Vaccinations at Heinz Field will be by appointment only and administered in the PNC Champions Club. To check eligibility and make an appointment, those interested can do both at GiantEagle.com.

“We’re going through unusual times, to say the least,” Rooney said, “and so being able to help with probably the most important thing we’re doing right now in this community, which is trying to get everybody vaccinated, trying to get everybody that kind of protection, I really can’t think of anything more important that we could be doing right now than to partner with Giant Eagle to do this.”

According to Rooney, Heinz Field will be utilized as long as Giant Eagle’s vaccine supplies last.

“It all depends on the supply to Giant Eagle. I think it’s going to go on for weeks,” Rooney said. “That’s what they have in mind here, but all we’ve been told so far is next week Heinz Field will be scheduled for the whole week and then we expect there will be additional weeks, but we don’t have those specifics yet.”

After a 2020 season largely without fans, the Steelers and Giant Eagle are doing their part to help ensure Heinz Field is packed in the fall of 2021.

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