The Pittsburgh Steelers and St. Louis Rams went head-to-head in Week-3 NFL action on Sunday, and the matchup had two 1-1 teams trying to get their records above the .500 mark heading into Week 4. Heading into the game, it was known that the matchup to watch would be the potent Steelers' offense going against the stout Rams' defense. Before the opening kickoff, though, the game was delayed because the pyrotechnics used during the Rams' player introductions caught the artificial turf field on fire.
After about a 25-minute delay, the game finally began and, after the opening touchback, the Steelers were able to methodically move the ball down the field using a combination of 5-wide receiver sets resulting in first downs. The opening drive would stall at the Rams' 3-yard line and would result in a Josh Scobee chip shot field goal to give the Steelers an early 3-0 lead with 7:29 left in the first quarter.
On the Rams' first drive of the game, they would see minimal success before punting the ball back to the Steelers with 4:03 left in the opening frame. Starting from their own 7-yard line, the Steelers continued to lean on the spread formations and Ben Roethlisberger's pin-point passing to move the ball well into Ram's territory and end the opening quarter.
The Steelers' second drive would lead to another 1st-and-goal from the Rams' 4-yard line. Following a pass interference penalty against the Rams, the Steelers scored from the 1-yard line on the ensuing play with a run up the middle to Le'Veon Bell. The Steelers went for the two-point conversion, but failed with an incomplete pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey. At this point in the first half, the Steelers had run 24 plays, to the Rams' 5, and were leading 9-0 with 13:00 left in the second quarter.
The Rams started their second drive on their 20-yard line and drove to midfield before the drive stalled and forced their second punt. The Rams would attempt a fake-punt play, but the pass from punter Johnny Hekker fell short, giving the Steelers their third possession at midfield.
Two plays into the Pittsburgh drive, the Rams picked off a deep Roethlisberger pass, marking their first interception of 2015. The Rams started their third drive from their own 19-yard line and drove downfield, stringing together several first downs while moving into Pittsburgh territory. Their drive stalled and resulted in a 49-yard field by Greg Zuerlein to make the score 9-3 with 2:05 left in the first half.
With the Steelers' next drive being pushed back by a Kelvin Beachum holding penalty, the Steelers would settle for taking a 9-3 lead at halftime.
The Rams received the ball to start the second half and, within minutes, drove the ball into Pittsburgh territory. A sack by Arthur Moats moved the Rams out of field goal range, and they were forced to punt the ball to Pittsburgh which resulted in a touchback.
On the next Steelers' possession, the remainder of the Pittsburgh season was put in serious jeopardy as the team watched Ben Roethlisberger get rolled into by a blitzing pass rusher and leave the game with a left knee injury. Michael Vick took over at quaterback but, on third down, couldn't produce a first down and Jordan Berry punted the ball back to the Rams.
The Rams didn't turn their next possession into points, and the Steelers were given another chance to extend their 9-3 lead. But Vick's first true debut in black-and-gold ended in a punt to start the fourth quarter. The Rams punted the ball back to the Steelers three plays later, and Pittsburgh started their next drive at their own 29-yard line.
The Vick-led offense again wasn't capable of manufacturing a first down and gave the football back to the Rams with 9:23 left in the game, still clinging to the 9-3 lead. A drive spurred by a pass interference call on Antwon Blake led to a Rams first-and-goal situation at the Steelers 14-yard line. Nick Foles would be unable to get the Rams into the end zone, and another Zuerlein field goal made the score 9-6 with 5:38 left in the game.
The Steelers turned to Le'Veon Bell to help grind out the clock, and he did so with big runs to start the drive, and getting them into Rams' territory. A Cody Wallace holding call would stall the drive, and force a punt back to St. Louis with 3:09 left in the fourth quarter of play.
The next play was a deep throw from Foles which was intercepted by Will Allen and returned to the St. Louis 30-yard line. It was both Allen's, and Pittsburgh's, first interception of the 2015 season. The Steelers' offense was unable to get a first down and run out the clock, and instead gave Josh Scobee a chance to extend their lead to 6-points with 2:00 minutes remaining in the game. Scobee nailed the 42-yard field goal to extend Pittsburgh's lead 12-6 with 1:56 left on the clock.
Foles was forced to try to put together a touchdown drive without any timeouts. He would convert only a single first down and, on 4th-and-6 a pass intended for Kenny Britt was ruled incomplete by review, giving the Steelers the ball back and clinching the 12-6 victory.
The Steelers record improves to 2-1, as they now turn their attention to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4 on Thursday Night Football, quite possibly without Ben Roethlisberger.