The Buccaneers’ second drive saw Blaine Gabbert behind center, and after a 3rd down roughing the passer call extended the drive, Tampa Bay went for a 4th-and-short in field goal range and failed. Devin Bush was all over the field throughout the first quarter, and was a main reason why the Steelers’ offense got the ball back in the second quarter down just 7-0, and not 10 or 14-0.
Starting their second drive in their own end, the Steelers needed James Washington to dig them out of a huge hole. On 3rd and 21, Dobbs hit Washington for a 22-yard pick up to get the yardage necessary to receive a new set of downs. After that play, Dobbs started using his feet to make plays, including a 36-yard run to move the offense into field goal range. They would have to settle for a Chris Boswell field goal to get them on the board, but still trailing 7-3 with 6:58 left in the first half.
After the Steelers’ defense forced their first punt of the game, Mason Rudolph took over at quarterback with 5:33 left in the half and all three timeouts still remaining. It didn’t take the Steelers’ offense to take control and move the ball down the field. After big completions and a 22-yard run by Jaylen Samuels, the Steelers faced a 1st and goal from the 8-yard line. Following the 2-minute warning, Rudolph hit Washington for the 8-yard score. Matthew Wright tacked on the extra point to make the score 10-7 Steelers in the waning minutes of the first half.
On the ensuing drive, Tyler Matakevich came on a blitz, and was able to get a strip sack, causing a fumble, and rookie Isaiah Buggs was at the right place at the right time to recover the fumble. Rudolph and the Steelers’ offense failed to gain positive yardage on the next possession, and had to settle for another Chris Boswell field goal, this one was a 47-yard kick to make the score 13-7 with 1:03 left in the first half.
The Buccaneers weren’t about to kneel out the remaining time left in the half, and it set up a 55-yard field goal attempt which was good as time ran out, making the score 13-10 Steelers heading into halftime.