The Pittsburgh Steelers were in the Windy City to go head-to-head with the Chicago Bears in Week 3 of the regular season, but despite National Anthem news dominating the news wire before the game, there was actual football to be played at Solider Field.
The 2-0 Steelers faced the 0-2 Bears in Chicago, a city which hadn’t been very nice to the Steelers. Similar to their record in Philadelphia, the Steelers have only once in the last 12 games there, nonetheless, Pittsburgh was bound-and-determined to get that proverbial monkey off their back on Sunday.
Pittsburgh received the opening kickoff, but did little with it as Jordan Berry got early action after an opening three-and-out. The Steelers’ defense forced their own three-and-out, but on the ensuing punt Eli Rogers fumbled the punt and Chicago recovered the loose ball. It didn’t take the Bears long to turn the turnover in 7 points as Jordan Howard plunged into the endzone to give the Bears their first lead of 2017, and an early 7-0 tally over Pittsburgh.
With a chance to answer, the Steelers promising drive ended with a sack, and fumble, of Ben Roethlisberger which was recovered by Chicago, their second turnover over the first quarter. However, despite being in field goal range, Chicago kicker Conner Barth missed the kick, giving the Steelers a pass.
On the next Steelers possession, it was a change-of-pace style which got the team moving. Primarily using the no-huddle offense, the team was able to rattle off a 13-play, time-eating drive which ended in a touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown to tie the score at 7-points a piece.
.@AB84 ties it up with his first TD of the season.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 24, 2017
PIT 7 | CHI 7 pic.twitter.com/cGpljHP0kA
Following the Steelers’ touchdown drive, the Bears answered with their own, but they did it by running it right down the throat of the Pittsburgh defense. The threat of the run turned into a play-action touchdown pass from Mike Glennon to Adam Shaheen to give Chicago a 14-7 lead. Pittsburgh was the No. 3 defense in the NFL heading into Week 3, and surrendered over 100-yards on the ground in the first half.
With 43-seconds left in the quarter, and half, Pittsburgh drove into field goal range and a chance to cut the lead to 4 heading into halftime. Boswell’s kick was blocked and returned in what looked like would be a touchdown, but Vance McDonald caught up to the ball carrier, forced a fumble and Jordan Berry batted it out of the end zone. After a lengthy delay, the officials deemed the players had to play the ball from the one-yard line in an untimed down. After a Chicago false start, they decided to settle for a Barth field goal to give them a 10-point lead at halftime.
Despite the Bears starting the half with the football, it was nothing but punts throughout the early portions of the third quarter, but on Chicago’s second possession of the half Ryan Shazier stripped Leonard of the ball forcing a fumble, which was recovered by Pittsburgh.
.@RyanShazier knocks it loose and picks it up. pic.twitter.com/22tee4RF7l— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 24, 2017
Shortly after the turnover, Le’Veon Bell was able to cash in on a first and goal situation to cut the Chicago lead to 3-points.
.@L_Bell26 with his first TD of the season.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 24, 2017
CHI 17 | PIT 14 pic.twitter.com/tuPFIIi3Rh
After the Boswell point-after touchdown the score remained 17-14 with 6:15 left in the third quarter.
To start the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh forced another Chicago punt to get the ball back to the offense, but Roethlisberger and company were unable to do anything other than flip field position. With that said, on third down, Glennon threw an interception to safety J.J. Wilcox, giving the ball back to Pittsburgh just outside the red-zone.
J.J. Wilcox snags his first interception in Black & Gold. pic.twitter.com/L7kKQS2fek— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 24, 2017
Despite the turnover, Pittsburgh was forced to settle for a Chris Boswell field goal to tie the game 17-17 with 8:03 left in the fourth quarter.
Within the final 8-minutes of the game, both teams had several offensive possessions, but it was Pittsburgh who had the ball with under a minute to play and one timeout remaining. After Roethlisberger was sacked for the third time, it ended fourth quarter and both teams headed to overtime.
Chicago won the toss and elected to receive the football to start the extra frame. After a series of big runs, the Bears scored on their first possession of overtime to end the game 23-17. The Steelers struggles in Week 3, and in Chicago, continue.
The loss moves Pittsburgh’s record to 2-1 as they travel to play the Ravens in Week 4 of the regular season.