The highs and lows of the Steelers matchup vs. the Atlanta Falcons.
COIN TOSS: Falcons win the coin toss and defer. The Steelers get the football first.
1:13 p.m. – What Went Right: A Steelers offense that had yet to register even a first down on its opening possession so far this season took the opening kickoff and marched 78 yards on eight plays to score a touchdown on a 1-yard run by James Conner. On the drive Conner rushed six times for 43 yards, and he also caught a short pass and turned it into a 29-yard gain thanks to be key block from Vance McDonald. But the good news was tempered by Chris Boswell missing another extra point, this one going wide right.
1:21 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers defense allowed the Falcons some yards and a couple of first downs, but a sack by L.J. Fort on a third-and-6 from the Pittsburgh 38-yard line forced Atlanta to punt. The Falcons actually made a first down on the play previous to the sack on a run out of the wildcat formation, but an alignment penalty on the offense forced a re-do, and Fort sacked Matt Ryan on that play.
1:34 p.m. – What Went Right: Even after the offense was set back by a holding penalty on Rosie Nix during the Falcons first punt, the unit wouldn't be deterred. The Steelers ended up taking a 13-0 lead with 37 seconds left in the first quarter thanks to an 11-play, 97-yard drive that was capped by an 18-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Schuster. Conner converted one third down with an 8-yard reception and another with a 16-yard run. The Steelers also were helped by a 38-yard pass interference penalty on Duke Riley on an attempted pass to Jesse James.
1:46 p.m. – What Went Wrong: On Atlanta's second offensive possession, the Steelers defense had the Falcons offense in a third-and-10 situation from near midfield, only to have Matt Ryan convert with a 10-yard completion to TE Austin Cooper. On the next play, Mohamed Sanu split the Steelers zone coverage after taking a quick throw from Ryan and he out-ran everyone to complete a 43-yard touchdown play that cut the Steelers lead to 13-7 with 11:21 left in the second quarter.
2:05 p.m. – What Went Right: Even though the Falcons cut into the Steelers lead with a 47-yard field goal by Matt Bryant with 4:23 remaining in the first half, the defense forced that field goal with a couple of sacks after Atlanta had a first down at the Pittsburgh 14-yard line. T.J. Watt sacked Ryan for a 9-yard loss on first down, and then Cam Heyward ran over center Alex Mack and sacked Ryan for a 6-yard loss on third down. After the field goal, the Steelers led, 13-10.
2:11 p.m. – What Went Right: Even though it followed a three-and-out by the Steelers offense, Jordan Berry nailed a 55-yard punt that put the Falcons back at their own 1-yard line after Cam Sutton immediately tackled returner Justin Hardy. The Steelers led, 13-10, with 2:11 left in the first half.
2:26 p.m. – What Went Wrong: With the Steelers poised to build on their 13-10 lead late in the first half, and with a second-and-goal at the Atlanta 7-yard line, Ben Roethlisberger morphed into Mike Tomczak. Flushed out of the pocket, and with what looked like room to run and even get out of bounds to stop the clock, Roethlisberger put up a balloon in the middle of the end zone that was intended for Antonio Brown but instead was intercepted by Damontae Kazee. The half ended with the Steelers leading, 13-10.
2:46 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers defense allowed one first down on the opening possession of the second half, but that was all. After a 10-yard scramble by Matt Ryan converted one third down, the defense stiffened and on third-and-12 Terrell Edmunds made a nice open-field tackle after a completion to Tevin Coleman to force a punt. The Steelers took over at their own 15-yard line with 10:48 remaining in the third period.
2:59 p.m. – What Went Right: A 12-play, 85-yard drive extended the Steelers' lead to 20-10 with 3:42 remaining in the third quarter. On the drive, Conner rushed four times for 24 yards and caught a short pass that he turned into a 28-yard gain by breaking a handful of tackles. The score came on a 9-yard pass to Antonio Brown, where he and Ben Roethlisberger executed a quick-out at the pylon to perfection.
3:05 p.m. – What Went Right: Following the touchdown pass to Brown, the Steelers defense and then the punt return team made plays that gave the Steelers the ball at the Falcons 18-yard line. The defense forced the Falcons into a three-and-out, and then Rosie Nix blocked Matt Bosher's punt to set up the offense in the red zone.
3:11 p.m. – What Went Right: Less than a minute of game time after taking over following the blocked punt, the Steelers scored another touchdown to extend their lead to 27-10 with 1:39 remaining in the third quarter. On first down, Roethlisberger completed a 14-yard pass to Jesse James, and then on the next play Falcons LB Foyesade Oloukun was flagged for a personal foul for a late hit on a run by Conner, Following the penalty, Conner swept around the right end for a 2-yard touchdown.
3:25 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It got off to a bad start for the Steelers defense with a roughing the passer penalty on Jon Bostic that was a bad call, and it ended with 12:28 remaining in the fourth quarter with a 2-yard run by Ito Smith for the touchdown that cut the Falcons deficit to 27-17. The drive covered 75 yards in nine plays, and during the possession, Julio Jones caught his first pass of the game.
3:33 p.m. – What Went Right: Apparently, the connection has been re-established. After the Falcons touchdown that cut the lead to 27-17, the Steelers needed only five plays to cover 75 yards and extend that lead to 34-17. It started with a 15-yard completion to Brown, and after three carries by Conner netted 13 yards, Roethlisberger threw a perfect pass down the left sideline for a 47-yard touchdown to Brown who beat cornerback Robert Alford. There was 9:41 left in the fourth period.
3:40 p.m. – What Went Right: The defense put together another good series to turn the ball over on downs with 7:59 remaining in the fourth quarter. After a couple of completions to Julio Jones, Matt Ryan had a pass batted by T.J. Watt, then threw incomplete, then the Falcons were hit with a 5-yard penalty for 12 men on the field, and then Ryan overthrew Mohamed Sanu after being flushed out of the pocket.
3:53 p.m. – What Went Right: The sequence began with a 37-yard punt by Jordan Berry that was downed by Brian Allen at the Falcons 2-yard line. On first down, Matt Ryan's pass looked to be intercepted around midfield by Artie Burns, but he lost control of the ball before establishing complete control. A couple of plays later, T.J. Watt executed a strip-sack of Ryan that eventually was recovered in the end zone by L.J. Fort for the touchdown that gave the Steelers a 41-17 lead with 3:35 remaining in the game.
FINAL SCORE: Steelers 41, Falcons 17