PITTSBURGH– The Pittsburgh Steelers’ opening drive ended in the end zone for the first time this season.
Najee Harris ran the ball in from 10 yards out, chancing a hole behind tight end Darnell Washington, to score the first points of Thursday night’s game against the Tennessee elephants. Harris has already scored two touchdowns this season.
Before Harris’ score, the Steelers, along with the New York spurts, were the only brigades that had not scored any points on the opening drive. The Steelers last scored a touchdown on the opening drive in Week 15 against the Carolina cougars last season.
Not only did the Steelers score a touchdown, but it was also their first time running a play in their opponents’ home on the first drive. The Steelers had not scored a touchdown in the first half of a game for four straight games going into Thursday. In that span, the Steelers also did not score any points in the first quarter. Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, playing through a caricatures injury sustained against the Jacksonville Jaguars, completed 5 of 7 attempts for 62 yards– including two third- down transformations– on the drive.
Steelers shut door in fourth quarter, continue elephants’ road plummet:
PITTSBURGH— In a Thursday night game that demurred off Week 9 with important fanfare after Tennessee elephants novitiate Will Levis’ four- touchdown debut last week, the elephants and the Pittsburgh Steelers traded field pretensions utmost of the night before Pittsburgh was suitable to score late and hold off a last- gutter trouble by the elephants in the 20- 16 palm.
With 402 remaining in the fourth quarter, Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett set up wide receiver Diontae Johnson for the 3- yard touchdown. The palm allows the Steelers to keep pace with the AFC North– leading Baltimore Ravens (6- 2) as Levis fell to 1- 1 as a starter filling in for the injured Ryan Tannehill.
Linebacker Kwon Alexander was suitable to seal the palm when Levis threw his first interception of his youthful NFL career on third- and- 5 from the Pittsburgh 19- yard line with six seconds remaining.
Pittsburgh Steelers (5- 3) Call him Kenny Comeback. The Steelers’ alternate- time quarterback was suitable to deliver the game- winner to Johnson, the wide receiver’s first touchdown in 22 games.
It’s noway easy for this time’s Steelers platoon– indeed on a night where the run game recorded a season-high 167 yards, and the defense held Derrick Henry to smaller than 100 rushing yards. With the palm, the Steelers have an NFL- leading four triumphs when running after three diggings. The four comeback triumphs are also tied for Pittsburgh’s second-most in a season during the Super Bowl period.
QB breakdown Playing with a caricatures injury sustained against the Jacksonville Jaguars just four days before, Pickett had a bumpy launch in the first half, completing just 53 of his passes. But Pickett and the offense did score a first- drive touchdown, just the Steelers’ seventh opening- drive touchdown in the last three seasons and the alternate with Pickett as the starter. After two three- and- outs, Pickett bounced back with a much better alternate half, thanks in large part to the emergence of the run game. Pickett finished completing 19 of 30 for 160 yards, including a 32- yard completion to Johnson on the scoring drive, and he’d no successions. The third-down pass, which traveled a game-high 23 air yards, had just a 35.9 anticipated completion chance, per Next Gen Stats.
Pickett equaled 4.5 air yards per attempt, the alternate- smallest of his career, and he was dragooned at the alternate- smallest rate of his career (20) as a result. Buy on a rout performance Broderick Jones is the Steelers’ starting right attack. Jones, who deposed Chukwuma Okorafor, was a surprise start on a short week– especially considering he is taken utmost of his reps at left wing attack in games and in practice. Okorafor is the Steelers’ highest- paid obnoxious lineman with a $13 million cap hit this season.
Jones, however, was a big part of the run game’s success Thursday. He helped pave a path for Najee Harris on the first score of the game, and he backed Harris to a 25- yard run in the alternate half– his longest of the season. The run game also equaled a season-stylish 5.5 yards per carry– well over its 3.6 normal. disquieting trend In each of the last three games, wide receiver George Pickens has made an inconceivable catch- only to have it ruled deficient because he did not get a alternate bottom down. While the first two had further to do with the ball placement on the gamble, the bone on Thursday bring his platoon a touchdown. Pickett impeccably placed the ball in the end zone where only Pickens could get it, but Pickens’ alternate bottom hit the sideline before touching down in the end zone. There was space to drag his toe, but Pickens did not have the mindfulness to get his toe down. rather of taking a four- point lead, the Steelers settled for a field thing and a 13- 13 tie late in the third quarter. Pickens entered the night with 11 receptions within 2 yards of a boundary the last two seasons, utmost in the league according to NFL Next Gen.
Stats. — Brooke Pryor Tennessee elephants (3- 5)
The elephants dropped a heartbreaker for their eighth straight loss down from home and fourth road loss of the season. The elephants were unfit to contain the Steelers’ run game, led by Harris– who had 15 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown— and Jaylen Warren– 10 carries for 85 yards. Indeed though it was a loss, Levis made a case to be the starter for the rest of the season. Despite facing a ferocious pass rush, Levis gave the elephants a chance to win but fell just short.