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The Steelers signed free-agent cornerback Brice McCain after he was released by the Houston Texans, the result of a horrendous year for the veteran. McCain was brought into the nickel role in Week 4 after Ike Taylor was injured in Week 3. After a dubious start to his time in that role, including allowing a big catch at the end of the game that set up Tampa Bay's winning touchdown, it didn't look good for McCain.
Then he flipped it around in Week 5.
McCain sat on a throw by Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles, intercepted it and ran untouched for a touchdown, flipping over a Ben Roethlisberger fumble just a few plays earlier. It flipped a streak of no splash plays in the fourth quarter for a Steelers' defense that held tough in this game. It flipped the sentiment of a secondary that couldn't make plays. It could have been the biggest play of the season for the Steelers, breaking out of a tough defensive battle against Jacksonville for their third win of the season.
Jacksonville started the scoring with a 43-yard field goal from Josh Scobee after the Steelers went three-and-out on their first possession. Bortles ran for 12 yards on 3rd-and-10, while rushing for a 4th down conversion on the drive.
The Steelers' offense stalled out on its first three drives, but picked up some momentum on their fourth possession, getting a big run from Bell on the drive. Jacksonville stood tall in three straight goal-to-go plays, holding the Steelers to a field goal.
The Jaguars' defense played far better in the first half than they had all season, limiting the Steelers for much of the two quarters. It took the Steelers until under the two-minute warning in the first half to get into the end zone on a one-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to back-up tight end Michael Palmer in a three-TE set to give the Steelers a 10-3 lead.
It capped off a 10-play, 70-yard drive in which Roethlisberger was 6-for-6 passing.
Jacksonville scrapped together another field goal at the end of the half to make it 10-6, but they gained just 130 yards in the first two quarters. They would bring the score to 10-9 toward the end of the third quarter on a solid running and short-throwing drive.
McCain's interception and touchdown put it at 17-9, and the Steelers finally came up with a few first downs at the end of the game to salt away the clock.
The Steelers improve to 3-2 on the season heading into a big road game against AFC North rival Cleveland.