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It was not the way Ben Roethlisberger would draw it up

linchao 1 week ago 0

but the Pittsburgh Steelers will take it.In desperate need of a win, the

two-time defending AFC North champions capped a tumultuous week in which star

receiver Antonio Brown made headlines by shouting at an assistant coach on the

sidelines and getting into a spat on social media with a 30-27 victory over the

Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.The Steelers (1-1-1) built a 20-point lead

held on for their first win despite not scoring after halftime.“I don’t feel

like we had the ball much in the second half. Three https://www.steelerssportshop.com/Mike-Hilton-Jersey possessions maybe. We need

to do a better job putting it away,” Roethlisberger said.“At the end of the day

we just wanted to get out of here with a win,” cornerback Joe Haden added. “It

wasn’t a good-looking win at all. They made a lot of plays on us, but at the end

we made some big stops.”Roethlisberger threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns,

with all but 80 yards of that production coming while the Steelers were building

a 30-10 halftime lead.Vance McDonald scored on a 75-yard pass play and finished

with four catches for 112 yards. Brown and Ryan Switzer also had first-half TD

receptions for Pittsburgh, which had been winless through two games for the

first time since 2013.The Pittsburgh defense did its part, too, forcing four

turnovers, including three first-half interceptions of Ryan Fitzpatrick, the

35-year-old journeyman who threw for 819 yards and eight touchdowns in two

victories to begin Tampa Bay’s season.Fitzpatrick, the only player in NFL

history to open a season with consecutive games with over 400 yards passing and

four touchdowns, tried his best to create “FitzMagic” again in his third start

in place of the suspended Jameis Winston.He led a long field goal drive in the

third quarter, and then tossed fourth-quarter TD passes of 4 yards to Chris

Godwin and 24 yards to Mike Evans to rally the Bucs (2-1) within 30-27 with 5:43

remaining.“We obviously dug ourselves a pretty big hole,” Fitzpatrick said. “The

great thing to me coming out of this game is again the belief in the huddle in

the second half and guys not wavering and not blinking and having the feeling

the whole time that we were going to come back and win the game.”The Bucs got

the ball back with just over three minutes left; however, the Steelers forced a

punt and Roethlisberger ran out the clock.Fitzpatrick, who sacked three times,

finished 30 of 50 for 411 yards and three TDs.“We just did so many things in the

first half of that game that we haven’t been doing, so many things to beat

ourselves,” Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said.“I’m really proud of the way we fought.

You’re down three touchdowns or three scores at halftime https://www.steelerssportshop.com ,

it’s not easy to come back in this league,” Koetter added. “We gave ourselves a

chance there at the end and just couldn’t pull it off.”Roethlisberger was 30 of

38 with one interception, completing nine passes to JuJu Smith-Schuster for 116

yards and six to Brown for 50 yards.The quarterback’s on-field chemistry with

Brown appeared fine in the first game since Brown responded to a former team

employee on social media by suggesting the club trade him if it wants to find

out how productive he can be without Roethlisberger.Fitzpatrick threw

interceptions on three consecutive pass attempts during one stretch of the

second quarter. The first stopped a promising drive at the Steelers’ 6, and

linebacker Bud Dupree returned the last one 10 yards for a touchdown that put

the Steelers up 23-7.Roethlisberger also turned a fumble into a 27-yard TD pass

to Brown and moved the Steelers 75 yards in nine plays just before the half to

make it 30-10 on his 1-yard scoring pass to Switzer.FLAGS, FLAGS, FLAGSThe teams

combined for five roughing-the-passer penalties, most in an NFL game since 2001,

as fans around the league continue to gripe about flags being thrown for what

appear to be routine tackles. Pittsburgh was flagged three times for hits on

Fitzpatrick, and the Bucs were called twice for roughing Roethlisberger. In all,

the Steelers were penalized 13 times for 155 yards. Tampa Bay had nine penalties

for 80 yards. The Bucs also had a holding penalty that wiped out what would have

been an 80-yard punt return for a TD by DeSean Jackson.RING OF HONORHall of Fame

coach Tony Dungy, who won a Super Bowl ring as player with the Steelers and as a

first-time head coach transformed Tampa Bay from a laughingstock into a

championship contender, was inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor at

halftime.He’s the 12th member, joining Hall of Famers Lee Roy Selmon, Warren

Sapp and Derrick Brooks; coaches John McKay and Jon Gruden; late owner Malcolm

Glazer; and players John Lynch, Mike Alstott, Doug Williams, Jimmie Giles and

Paul Gruber.Dungy and his wife, Lauren, accompanied Tampa Bay’s captains to

midfield for the coin toss. Three of the couple’s children 鈥?Jade, Justin and

Jason 鈥?led the team out of the tunnel as the honorary flag

runners.INJURIESSteelers: Played without All-Pro guard David DeCastro

(hand) Pittsburgh Steelers

Customized Jerseys , right tackle Marcus Gilbert (hamstring) and

safety Morgan Burnett (groin). Pittsburgh didn’t report any injuries during the

game.Buccaneers: Defensive tackle Beau Allen (foot) was inactive after being

injured during Tampa Bay’s Week 2 victory over Philadelphia. S Chris Conte left

in the second quarter with a knee injury and did not return.UP NEXTSteelers:

Home vs. Baltimore on Sunday night.Buccaneers: Visit Chicago on Sunday in the

first game Winston is eligible to play. PITTSBURGH (AP) — All those positive

vibes created by their big win over Baltimore three weeks ago are gone — mostly

forgotten.The Browns are fading fast.And coach Hue Jackson or offensive

coordinator Todd Haley could vanish soon.“We have to go to the drawing board,”

Jackson said following a 33-18 loss Sunday to the Steelers that wasn’t that

close. “We have to get better. We aren’t where we need to be, bottom

line.”Cleveland squandered early scoring chances, settling for field goals when

touchdowns were needed, and the Browns (2-5-1) dropped their third straight

game, raising more questions about Jackson’s future.A week after pledging to do

whatever was necessary to fix Haley’s offense, Jackson, now 3-36-1 in two-plus

seasons, doesn’t seem to have a strong handle on any aspect of his

team.Cleveland gained 119 yards in the first quarter — but just 118 more over

the final three. The Browns line didn’t do enough to protect rookie quarterback

Baker Mayfield; the playmakers didn’t make enough plays; and once again,

Cleveland’s offense bogged down after the defense forced turnovers.The Browns

also allowed 421 yards and missed numerous chances to tackle Steelers running

back James Conner, who picked up 146 and scored twice. Also, kicker Greg Joseph

was off target on a field goal and extra point.Following the game, Jackson used

the word “disheartening” to describe the wayward kicks.He might as well been

talking about his team’s overall performance as the Browns dropped their 15th

straight game at Heinz Field.“It was a chance for us again to make a mark in the

AFC North,” Jackson said. “Seems like we didn’t grab what I think we had a

chance to grab.”The loss followed another turbulent week for the Browns, who

have lost 25 consecutive road games — one shy of the NFL record held by the

Detroit Lions (2007-10). Jackson’s postgame comments in Tampa Bay last week

about “diving” in to help Haley turned into awkward news conferences during

which both coaches insisted they were united.Jackson refused to dignify a report

that he may soon fire Haley if the team doesn’t improve on offense.“I don’t want

to talk about or give legs to anything about last week,” Jackson said. “I said

what I said out of frustration. That’s over and done with. Let’s go watch the

tape and see how we can get better.”Jackson said he has no issues with

Haley.“There’s nothing wrong with my relationship with Haley,” he said. “I said

what I said last week, and obviously, it had legs, but I never said I wanted to

take away play calling. I said I wanted to help. That’s it. Now all of the

sudden it’s this big ol’ thing because sure everyone’s going to look and say

what’s going on? The only thing that’s going on is we need to get better. We

need to coach better.”Jackson believes he still has the attention of his

players Pittsburgh Steelers

T-Shirts , and isn’t concerned about them giving in.“Still up,” he

said about the team’s overall mood. “Frustrated, mad, don’t like to lose like

that. But this team will stick together and keep fighting.”Defensive end Myles

Garrett raised some eyebrows when he was asked if the Browns, who tied the

Steelers in Week 1 and beat the Ravens in overtime on Oct. 8, are going

backward.“I think we just took the wrong approach this time,” he said, referring

to Cleveland’s defensive game plan. “I think we should’ve just stayed with what

we did the first time, just go with base calls and punch them in the

mouth.”Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield threw a pair of touchdown

passes, but spent much of the day under pressure from Pittsburgh’s rush.Mayfield

was only sacked twice, and he did all he could to avoid a question about the

Jackson-Haley relationship.“I try not to pay attention to that stuff,” he said.

“I’m invested in the game plan and invested in trying to learn and grow with

some of these receivers. Trying to get the timing down, trying to get the trust,

so that’s above my pay grade. I’m not worried about that. When it comes down to

it, we come out here, we have to play the game to win.”Browns left guard Joel

Bitonio echoed Mayfield’s remarks. He wasn’t going to get caught in a perceived

tug-of-war between his coaches or comment on Haley, who had a forgettable return

trip to Pittsburgh as an opponent after six seasons as the team’s offensive

coordinator.“We’re trying to do our best with what we have out there,” Bitonio

said. “I don’t think you can pinpoint it on one person.”