What went right, wrong at Atlanta

* It wasn't as good as it could've been, but the Steelers drove to an opening possession field goal, a 38-yarder by Shaun Suisham, that gave them an early lead. Ben Roethlisberger completed 4-of-5 on the drive, and on the one incompletion – third-and-5 from the Atlanta 20-yard line – all of his receivers were covered.

  • It was a third-and-2 from the Steelers' 16-yard line on their second offensive possession of the game. Unable to find anyone open down the field, Roethlisberger dumped the ball off to Le'Veon Bell, who cut off a block from Martavis Bryant and ran 44 yards to the Atlanta 40-yard line. The officials threw a flag on Bryant's block, but after an on-field conference, the flag was picked up.
  • On the first offensive play for the Falcons following Suisham's second field goal, Matt Ryan's pass for Harry Douglas was intercepted by William Gay, who returned it 52 yards for a touchdown and a 13-0 Steelers lead after one play of the second quarter. The pick-six was Gay's third of the season, which set a single-season franchise record.
  • On a first-and-10 from the Atlanta 32-yard line, Falcons WR Harry Douglas was flagged for offensive pass interference, which set up a first-and-20. On third-and-6, Matt Ryan threw incomplete, and the Falcons punted for the second time in the game's first 19 minutes. Then when Antonio Brown returned the punt 31 yards, the Steelers offense got to start at the Pittsburgh 44-yard line.
  • The Steelers answered the Falcons' touchdown with a 12-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard run by Le'Veon Bell that restored the lead to 20-7, a lead they took into halftime. The big play was a 28-yard pass to Antonio Brown that originally was ruled incomplete but ended up being overturned on replay. Brown made the catch and was able to drag his second foot, which put the ball at the 1-yard line and set up Bell's touchdown.
  • It went onto the stat sheet as a 46-yard catch-and-run by Devin Hester, but it also was an example of Mike Mitchell doing his job in not allowing the play to go for a touchdown. It was a quick screen to the left, and Hester got into the secondary with a blocker in front of him and only Mitchell still to beat. But Mitchell kept giving ground until reinforcements arrived. When the Falcons settled for a 28-yard field goal at the end of that possession, Mitchell's play was worth four points.
  • It was a 26-yard completion to Heath Miller on the final play of the third quarter, and it put the ball at the Atlanta 43-yard line. But on the play, the pass protection gave Miller time to run a deep crossing route, and when Ben Roethlisberger released the ball, he still had a clean pocket.
  • On a third-and-7 from the Steelers' 33-yard line, Ben Roethlisberger converted with a 13-yard pass to Markus Wheaton that was made possible in part by a nice blitz pickup by Le'Veon Bell.
  • It was a third-and-6 from the Atlanta 21-yard line with about seven minutes left in a game the Steelers were leading, 27-20. Matt Ryan threw a check-down pass to Harry Douglas, who then was tackled in the open field by Vince Williams after a 4-yard gain. The Falcons punted.

* There was only one mistake made on the Steelers' second possession, and it resulted in a 7-yard sack on a first down from the Atlanta 23-yard line. That eventually led to a third-and-17, and when a Ben Roethlisberger pass to Antonio Brown gained 10 yards, it was another field goal attempt, and Shaun Suisham hit his second of the game – this one from 38 yards – and the Steelers had a 6-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to the Georgia Dome for a matchup against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 15.

  • There have been worse calls, because this is the NFL, after all. But the roughing the passer penalty called by referee Clete Blakeman on Jason Worilds for a sack of Matt Ryan is on the short list for the worst of the year. It was a second-and-8 from the Pittsburgh 35-yard line when Worilds sacked Ryan for what would have been an 11-yard loss. Instead of third-and-19 from the 46-yard line, it became a first-and-10 from the Steelers 21-yard line. Three plays later, Ryan hit Devin Hester for a 17-yard touchdown that narrowed the Steelers' lead to 13-7 with 4:19 left in the first half.
  • Antonio Brown caught an 8-yard pass on a third-and-9 from the Pittsburgh 38-yard line midway through the third quarter of a 20-10 game. But Brown then was flagged for two fouls – a facemask penalty on an attempted stiff-arm, and then a dead-ball personal foul for taunting. The taunting penalty was accepted and set up a third-and-16. After an incomplete pass, the Steelers punted.
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