PITTSBURGH — Alex Highsmith found the end zone first. Imagine typing that out between the Steelers and Browns to start the game. But that is precisely what happened. Minkah Fitzpatrick guarded Jordan Akins on the outside and made a break on an out route toward Harrison Bryant. The ball popped up, and Alex Highsmith jumped all over it so much so that he took it back for a 30-yard touchdown return to get the Steelers up 7-0 to start the game.
WHAT A START ‼️
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 19, 2023
That play set a tone for the Steelers to play with for the game. Fitzpatrick seems to be roving around, while Alex Highsmith made a heads-up play to grab the ball away from Akins in the air. Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin noted that Fitzpatrick could move all around the football field on Sunday and that his Week 1 usage does not necessarily indicate what the Steelers saw Fitzpatrick doing all season.
That is true, as Fitzpatrick lined up outside in a three-safety package. Pittsburgh is all about finding ways to make Fitzpatrick a weapon around the football field, and that is precisely what the team did in this play. As a result, on the day, the Steelers have a lead for their offense to nurse without them even stepping onto the field.