The Pittsburgh Steelers were facing off against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football in Week 9, and the last time the Steelers lost at home on Monday night was in 1991 to the New York Giants. With a win over Chicago the Steelers would be the first team in the NFL to notch 50 wins on this prime time night.
But not all streaks were a positive for the Steelers. The Steelers haven’t beaten the Bears since the famed 2005 snow game at Heinz Field where Jerome Bettis ran over Brian Urlacher en route to Super Bowl 40.
Could the Steelers beat the Bears and end their losing streak vs. Chicago, all while extending their Monday night streak? The Steelers won the opening coin toss and elected to defer their possession to the start of the second half.
Justin Fields and the Bears’ offense took the field, but it was short-lived after a three-and-out. With tremendous field position, it took a Ben Roethlisberger pass to Chase Claypool and a James Washington jet sweep run to move the ball into the red-zone. From there Najee Harris did the rest with his first rushing touchdown of the game.
The Chris Boswell point after was good, making the score 7-0 with 9:42 left in the first quarter.
Another Chicago three-and-out gave the Steelers phenomenal field position, but the Steelers weren’t able to do anything with it and Pressley Harvin was called on for duty for the first time in the game. On the next Chicago possession a Fields pass was knocked down at the line of scrimmage and gobbled up by Cam Heyward for his second career interception.
The Steelers converted on a 4th and 1 at the end of the first quarter, and set up the offense at the Bears’ 25-yard line. Ben Roethlisberger was able to orchestrate a drive which resulted in a Pat Friermuth touchdown reception on third and goal.
Chris Boswell’s point-after made the score 14-0 with 13:22 left in the first half.
After both teams exchanged punts, a promising Bears drive was moved in the wrong direction thanks to T.J. Watt’s second sack of the game and a holding penalty. When it looked like a field goal was guaranteed, the Bears were punting the ball back to the Steelers again.
The Steelers’ offense continued to stall, and it was the Bears who had an opportunity to add points to their total with two minutes remaining in the half. Back-to-back passes from Fields to Cole Kmet set the offense in a first-and-goal situation, but they settled for a field goal to head into halftime with a 14-3 score.
The Steelers opened the third quarter with the football, but unfortunately the only thing they accomplished was a field-flipping drive. However, rookie punter Pressley Harvin was able to pin the Bears’ offense at their own six yard line for their first possession of the second half.
The Bears, gaining some momentum, were able to build on a huge Justin Fields pass to Marquise Goodwin for 50 yards. However, like their last scoring drive, it stalled and ended in just another field goal. The kick was good, making the score 14-3 with 7:43 left in the third quarter.
Needing an answer, the Steelers turned to the air to get the job done. On the first play on the next drive, Ben Roethlisberger hit James Washington for 42 yards to put the Steelers in Chicago territory. On 3rd and 8, Ben Roethlisberger his Pat Freiermuth for his second touchdown of the game.
WELCOME TO THE PAT FREIERMUTH BREAKOUT GAME pic.twitter.com/NAjLONnLWo— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) November 9, 2021
Chris Boswell missed the extra point, making the score 20-6 with 2:08 left in the third quarter.
It didn’t take the Bears long to answer the Steelers’ drive. A big pass from Field to Jimmy Graham set up the offense in the red-zone, and the next play was a wildcat run by Darnell Mooney and the Bears scored their first touchdown of the game. After the point-after, the score was 20-13 with 14:17 left in regulation.
Aided by a defensive pass interference call on a ball thrown towards Diontae Johnson, the Steelers next drive moved quickly into Chicago territory, but the drive ended in a Chris Boswell field goal. The 54-yard kick made the score 23-13 with 11:52 left in regulation.
On the ensuing kickoff Jakeem Grant Sr. fumbled the football, which was recovered by Chris Boswell. With a chance to put the final nail in the Bears’ coffin, the Steelers’ offense continued to struggle and a sack of Roethlisberger pushed the offense out of field goal range.
After what looked to be a three-and-out by the Bears, Ray-Ray McCloud fumbled the punt return and it was returned for a Bears touchdown. The extra point made the score 23-20 with 6:31 left in regulation.
In what might have been the oddest exchange of the game, on a big third down play Cassius Marsh, who was with the Steelers this preseason, sacked Ben Roethlisberger, but was later called for taunting. The personal foul ended up in a Chris Boswell 52-yard field goal to make the score 26-20 with 2:47 left in the 4th quarter.
Justin Fields put an exclamation point on his work in prime time with an extremely efficient drive. Two huge passes, none larger than the touchdown pass to Darnell Mooney, gave the Bears their first lead of the game.
With the score 27-26 with 1:46 remaining, you had to wonder if the Bears scored too quick. With only one timeout remaining, Ben Roethlisberger and the offense took over at their own 25-yard line after the touchback. It was a quick pass to Diontae Johnson which moved the Steelers into Chris Boswell’s field goal range, but after a pass to Pat Freiermuth the kick became a little closer.
Facing a 4th and short, with 30 seconds remaining, the Steelers sent out Boswell for the go-ahead field goal. The 40-yard kick was good, making the score 29-27 with 26 seconds remaining in regulation.
Fields and company took the field hoping for some late game magic, but there was no magic left to be had as the game clock finally hit double zeroes.
The win moves the Steelers’ winning streak to four games, and their record to 5-3 on the season. The Steelers now have a short week as they now prepare for the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field in Week 10. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they press on throughout the regular season.