MINNEAPOLIS — The Pittsburgh Steelers mounted a furious comeback, but couldn’t recover from falling into a 29-point hole and lost, 36-28 to the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night.
Their last chance came on a Ben Roethlisberger pass to Pat Freiermuth in the end zone that was knocked away with no time left on the clock, the last-gasp effort coming up just short.
The Vikings dominated the first two-thirds of the game, getting two Dalvin Cook touchdowns, one Justin Jefferson score and three field goals to build a 29-0 lead.
But then the Steelers started their comeback.
Ben Roethlisberger connected with Najee Harris for a three-yard score to get the Steelers on the board.
Then, the defense, which had been abused repeatedly throughout the game by Cook and the Minnesota offense, stepped up. Ahkello Witherspoon intercepted Kirk Cousins, and the Steelers took the short field to score on a 1-yard Harris plunge.
After a three-and-out, the Steelers drove right back down the field and Roethlisberger connected with James Washington for a 30-yard touchdown pass.
Cousins struck back with a 62-yard pass to K.J. Osborn to make it two-score touchdown game again, but Roethlisberger drove back, finding Freiermuth for a 15-yard score.
The Steelers got a defensive stop and gave Roethlisberger one last chance to attempted a game-tying 97-yard scoring drive, but it fell just shy in the end.
Cook finished with 205 yards on 27 carries to go with his two touchdowns. Roethlisberger threw for 308 yards on 28 of 40 passing and three scores.
The Steelers fell to 6-6-1. They will host Tennessee next Sunday at Heinz Field.