After halftime, Pittsburgh started with the football, but after stringing together a couple first downs Rudolph made his first big mistake as a starter and was intercepted after being flushed out of the pocket to register the first turnover for Pittsburgh of the game. What ensued was a Garoppolo drive that ended in a Wilson Jr. one yard touchdown plunge to give the 49ers a 10-6 lead that felt insurmountable at the time.
On the next drive, it looked like more of the same for Rudolph and company. Painful runs of 3 yards, and it set up a 3rd and 4. A critical moment in the third quarter, but Rudolph hit JuJu Smith-Schuster on a crossing route and Smith-Schuster took it to the house for a 76-yard touchdown. The Boswell point after made the score 13-10 with 5:35 left in the third quarter.
Pittsburgh’s lead didn’t last long after Garoppolo moved the ball with ease into Pittsburgh territory, but it was on the ground where the Steelers’ defense was getting gashed. In that fashion, it was appropriate the Steelers defense gave up another touchdown run by Wilson Jr., this time for 4 yards. The score gave the 49ers a 17-13 lead with 56 seconds left in the third quarter.
The score would hold heading into the final quarter of regulation.