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Steelers Gameday

Steelers Make Fast Start Last, Upset Chargers 24-17

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With undrafted rookie third-stringer Devlin Hodges making his first NFL start on the road in Los Angeles on Sunday, the Steelers wanted to take some of the weight off his shoulders.

They got that with a dominant performance on defense, an improved running game and a phenomenal showing from Steelers Nation, which took over Dignity Health Sports Park and cheered the Steelers to a 24-17 upset victory over the Chargers.

Perhaps feeding off the energy of the Black-and-Gold dominant crowd, the Steelers defense came out on fire, forcing two early turnovers that changed the course of the game.

After a pair three-and-outs, Los Angeles quarterback Philip Rivers was under serious pressure and missed the mark on a lateral that Devin Bush scooped up and returned nine yards for a touchdown.

On the next possession, Tyson Alualu deflected Rivers’ pass at the line and Bush grabbed it for his sixth takeaway of his rookie season.

The Steelers turned the short field into seven points with a James Conner touchdown run.

The Pittsburgh offense got the ball back once again before the end of the first quarter, and Hodges found Conner off to his right for a 26-yard catch and run for his second score of the game.

The Steelers started the second half with another long drive that took over 6 minutes off the clock and ended with a Chris Boswell field goal to take 24-0 lead.

Hodges made his first big mistake in the fourth quarter, when he was intercepted trying to force a deep ball to Johnny Holton. The Chargers turned that into a touchdown when Rivers hit Hunter Henry in the back of the end zone and started a comeback run.

Rivers hit Henry again from 11 yards out with 1:34 to play to draw the Chargers to with a score, but Steelers cornerback Cam Sutton recovered the onside kick attempt and then intercepted Rivers on the Chargers’ last-gasp drive.

Steelers Gameday

Alex Highsmith Needs MRI after Ankle Injury Suffered vs. Browns

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PITTSBURGH — Steelers rookie linebacker Alex Highsmith suffered an ankle injury that will require an MRI in Sunday’s playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Highsmith left the game in the first half and was seen limping on the Pittsburgh sideline. He made an attempt to return to the game, but was unable to continue playing and did not see the field at all in the second half.

In-game, the Steelers announced that Highsmith was doubtful to return with an ankle injury. After the fact, head coach Mike Tomlin said that Highsmith suffered a high ankle sprain. Highsmith’s father posted on Twitter early on Monday morning that Highsmith will require an MRI on his injured ankle.

Given that Highsmith was able to walk and even run in short bursts after the injury, it does not seem likely that it will impact his offseason training plans.

The team’s third-round draft pick out of Charlotte, Highsmith was thrust into a starting role after starting outside linebacker Bud Dupree suffered  an ACL injury that required surgery.

On the season, Highsmith played in 16 regular season game and made five starts. He finished with 48 tackles, five for a loss, six quarterback hits, one interception and one pass defended.

With Dupree set to become an unrestricted free agent and unlikely to return, Highsmith should be expected to retain his starting role in 2021.

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Steelers

Mike Tomlin Doesn’t Regret Punt, Will Talk to Ben Roethlisberger About Future

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Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin answers questions from the media following his team’s shocking defeat at the hands of the Browns in the playoffs. Tomlin explained why he decided to punt on a 4th and 1 in the 4th quarter while trailing by multiple scores. He also touched on the timeline for when he will talk to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about his future with the team.

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Steelers Gameday

JuJu Smith-Schuster Says He Doesn’t Regret ‘Browns Is the Browns’ Comment

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PITTSBURGH — It was repeated so often in the five days between when JuJu Smith-Schuster said the phrase on Wednesday to Sunday night’s game at Heinz Field, that it nearly became the No. 1 talking point coming into the game.

“The Browns is the Browns.”

Before the game, after the game and probably during the game, many of the Browns made it clear that they had taken exception to Smith-Schuster’s characterization of the team.

Smith-Schuster said after the game that he had no regrets about what he said.

“You know, I don’t regret what I said,” Smith-Schuster said. “I said, ‘The Browns is the Browns.’ They came out and they played a hell of a game. You know, there’s been games where we feel we lose them and today wasn’t our night and hopefully the same Browns will show up next week against the same opponent and go out and do the same thing they did tonight and have a hell of a game.”

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