The Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered Week 3 under very different circumstances. Tampa Bay was red-hot coming in with a 2-0 record, and the Steelers had yet to crack the win column after starting with an 0-1-1 record.
All that aside, this matchup had the look of a shootout in its purest form. Ryan Fitzpatrick had been the NFC’s best quarterback through the early portion of the season, and Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offense were no slouch either.
When the game got underway, it was Pittsburgh receiving the opening kickoff, and a three-and-out was what ensued after a special team penalty pushed them back on the opening kickoff. After another mediocre Jordan Berry punt, the Steelers’ defense stood tall and forced a three-and-out of their own on the Buccaneers’ first possession of the game.
On the second Pittsburgh possession it was Tampa Bay who drew first blood when Justin Evans stepped in front of a Roethlisberger pass intended for JuJu Smith-Schuster and gave the Buccaneers tremendous field position after the interception. With the ball on the Pittsburgh 46-yard line, it took just four plays for Fitzpatrick to find Cameron Brate for a 4-yard touchdown to give Tampa Bay an early 7-0 lead.
With a chance to answer, on third-and-10 Roethlisberger found a wide open Vance McDonald who stiff-armed Chris Conte into next week on his way to a 75-yard touchdown.
Don't make him angry.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 25, 2018
You won't like him when he's angry. pic.twitter.com/e3WBR7oAss
However, Chris Boswell’s kicking woes continued with a missed point-after, his second in the past two weeks, and the score was 7-6 midway through the first quarter.
After Tampa Bay threatened to add to their lead, an Anthony Chickillo sack on third down pushed them out of field goal range and forced a punt.
The Steelers have the ball in Tampa Bay territory at the end of the first quarter.