The Pittsburgh Steelers spent three months shaking off no matter 2020 threw at them. Schedule adjustments. Accidents to a handful of influence gamers. The ever-present menace of COVID-19.

Via the chaos, they stored successful. Typically fairly. Typically ugly. Typically a bit of each in the identical sport. Via all of it, they insisted they have been properly conscious of their flaws. declaring again and again the one factor excellent about them was their document.

A lot for that.

Pittsburgh’s bid for an unbeaten season is over. Washington’s — sure, Washington’s — quest for an unlikely division title could be beginning.

Alex Smith threw for 296 yards and a landing, Dustin Hopkins kicked a tiebreaking 45-yard area objective with 2:04 remaining, and Washington rallied for a 23-17 victory on Monday in one of many largest surprises of the NFL season.

“We’ve been down for such a long time and we’re trying to rebuild ourselves and build up,” first-year coach Ron Rivera stated. “This is something we can build off of.”

The Steelers (11-1) missed an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth and dropped right into a tie with defending Tremendous Bowl champion Kansas Metropolis for the very best document within the AFC with 4 weeks remaining. They squandered a 14-point lead.

“It stinks,” Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stated. “Been a while since we lost a game. It’s not a good feeling.”

The Steelers have been 10-point favourites whereas dealing with a workforce that hadn’t gained three straight since 2018 and hadn’t gained in Pittsburgh since 1991. Washington gained the Tremendous Bowl that season. The membership’s expectations this 12 months are way more modest. But a day after the New York Giants gained at Seattle, Washington (5-7) stored tempo whereas giving the lowly NFC East its second marquee victory in 25ish hours.

“We’re on a roll,” stated defensive finish Montez Sweat, who knocked down three Roethlisberger passes. “This is the kind of football we’ve been wanting to play since Game 1.”

It is the type of soccer the Steelers had performed since Sport 1. The very best begin within the franchise’s 87-year historical past got here to an abrupt halt on a uncommon Monday late afternoon sport. The NFL pushed the competition again a day as a part of the fallout from a COVID-19 outbreak in Baltimore that compelled the league to postpone the Ravens’ go to to Heinz Subject 3 times.

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin insisted his membership wouldn’t use the disruption as an excuse. However the weight of what the Steelers have been coping with, mixed with second-half accidents to inside linebacker Robert Spillane and cornerback Joe Haden, made for a troublesome day.

Roethlisberger handed for 305 yards and two touchdowns, however was picked off by Jon Bostic — a former Steeler — with 1:59 remaining. Hopkins added one other 45-yard area objective and Pittsburgh’s last-gasp drive ended with the ball close to midfield and Washington’s gamers sprinting off in celebration whereas the Steelers trudged to the locker room.

“We’re getting to that point of the season when you’ve got to be sharp in all areas, your whole team, both sides of the ball,” Roethlisberger stated. “There can be all kinds of distractions, changes of this, that and the other. At the end of the day, we’ve got to go play good football.”

For the primary time in a very long time, the Steelers did not. Not less than not sufficient of it.

Nonetheless, even after Smith hit Logan Thomas for a 15-yard landing cross to tie the sport at 17, the Steelers had an opportunity. They drove into area objective vary however relatively than have fill-in Matthew Wright — promoted from the follow squad attributable to an harm to Chris Boswell — try a 45-yard area objective into the open finish at Heinz, the Steelers went for it.

Roethlisberger’s heave to rookie working again Anthony McFarland Jr. fell incomplete and Smith calmly drove Washington 45 yards in 9 performs to arrange the successful rating.

“I didn’t feel good about putting that [kick] on him,” Tomlin stated of Wright.

Smith’s return from a proper leg harm that almost price him his life has made him a lock for the NFL’s Comeback Participant of the Yr. Within the first half, Smith’s left leg received some consideration after he was stepped on.

“You get stepped on a bunch as a quarterback, especially that front leg,” Smith stated. “You get used to it. You get numb to it. Looked down … [you could] visually see the blood pumping out. Never had one gush like that. New for me.”

Smith remained within the sport, his bloody sock giving his almost all-white uniform a splash of color.

Allen powers Payments previous 49ers

Josh Allen threw for 375 yards, tied a profession excessive with 4 landing passes and the Buffalo Payments stayed in sole possession of first place within the AFC East with a 34-24 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night time.

Buffalo (9-3) moved a step nearer to successful its division for the primary time since 1995 because of an almost flawless efficiency from Allen. The 24-year-old quarterback was stellar in opposition to the 49ers, finishing 32 of 40 passes with no interceptions.

He threw landing passes to Cole Beasley, Dawson Knox, Isaiah McKenzie and Gabriel Davis because the Payments constructed a 17-7 halftime lead and managed the vast majority of the second half.

The Payments are one sport forward of the Miami Dolphins with 4 video games left for each groups.

San Francisco (5-7) misplaced in its first sport at its adopted house in Arizona. The 49ers can be primarily based in Glendale for no less than the following three weeks after Santa Clara County issued strict new coronavirus protocols that compelled the workforce to discover a momentary new house.

It was Allen’s fourth sport of the season with no less than 300 yards passing and three touchdowns, which set a franchise document. Jim Kelly did it 3 times in 1991 and Drew Bledsoe 3 times in 2002.

The Payments had a way more nice journey to the desert than three weeks in the past, after they misplaced a 32-30 heartbreaker to the Arizona Cardinals. That was the sport when DeAndre Hopkins made a surprising catch over three Buffalo defenders with 2 seconds left for the game-winning rating.

San Francisco has had a number of current accidents at its slot cornerback place and struggled to cowl Beasley, who had a career-high 130 yards receiving on 9 catches.

State Farm Stadium — which is house to the division-rival Arizona Cardinals — was dressed as much as make the 49ers really feel barely extra at house. There have been San Francisco banners hanging on the partitions alongside the sidelines and the videoboard confirmed Niners highlights and flashed messages like “Faithful to the Bay.”

The Payments opened the sport with a 74-yard drive that was stopped on the Niners 1 after Allen’s fourth-down cross fell incomplete. San Francisco responded with a 97-yard drive that ended on the Buffalo 2 when Jeff Wilson Jr. was stuffed for no achieve on fourth down.

It was simply the second sport since 2000 that featured two turnovers on downs to start out a sport.

However San Francisco received the ball again one play afterward a fumble by Allen and the 49ers took benefit. Nick Mullens hit Brandon Aiyuk in the course of the tip zone for a 2-yard landing.

 Allen hit Beasley for a 5-yard landing and later discovered tight finish Knox for a 4-yard rating because the Payments pushed forward 17-7 by halftime.

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