Steelers hold on and beat the Rams!

October 22nd, 2023
by admin

For the first time since 1980 the Steelers pulled out the win against the Rams in Los Angeles!

It was a bend but don’t break defense, late game heroics and a controversial call that carried the Steelers to a 24-17 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

The Steelers trailed 17-10 but scored the game’s final 14 points behind a clutch performance in the fourth quarter by Kenny Pickett and team. It took nearly three quarters, but the Steelers offense finally got rolling. Pickett threw for 230 yards on the day with 130 coming in the fourth quarter. He seems to come up big in the needed moments including a QB sneak that iced the game. It was controversial because if he made the line of gain, it was by a centimeter. The Rams had no timeouts to challenge. Whatever is said about Pickett, he does struggle early but seems to thrive in the big moment.

The running game continues to struggle and only churned out 86 yards on 29 carries. That does not tell the whole story though, Najee Harris had his best game of the year and powered in the game winning touchdown on a tough run. He was grinding and punching all day finishing with 53 yards on the ground and three catches. Jaylen Warren banged in the game tying touchdown on a 13-yard run. The Steelers used the running game to control the line of scrimmage in the final frame of the day.

Having Diontae Johnson back is a huge boost. He finished with five catches for 79 yards. George Pickens had five for 107 yards and had more opportunity with Johnson’s return. It was his second straight 100-yard game. Johnson had a brutal penalty at the end of the game taunting former teammate Ahkello Witherspoon, it was unnecessary, and it negated a big first down. He did perform well though and his return opens up Pickens. Connor Heyward chipped in with two catches.

The defense struggled with the Rams but made the plays to stop them when needed. Rams’ offensive wunderkind Puka Nacua torched Levi Wallace for 154 yards. Matthew Stafford passed for 231 yards and a touchdown, he also converted on 3rd and long two times. He wasn’t helped by several key drops including two by Cooper Kupp but he was tough all day. Three guys who were on the couch last week gashed the Steelers front for 135 yards.

So how did the Rams only score 17 points? The answer very big plays. T.J. Watt had a huge interception that basically got the Steelers back on track to start the second half. Montravius Adams and Larry Ogunjobi stuffed the running game in the second half with the latter also garnishing a sack. The stats don’t reflect it but Alex Highsmith dominated against left tackle Aleric Jackson and forced Stafford to make several rushed plays. Nick Herbig had his first career sack. Joey Porter Jr. had a big stop on Nacua on third down to force a punt in the fourth quarter.

Lastly the special teams made a big difference as Brett Maher had a horrible game shanking two field goal tries and missing an extra point for the Rams. Meanwhile, Chris Boswell blasted a 53 yarder and made all three extra point tries. Pressley Harvin III average over 43 yards a punt and stuck two inside the 20. He did a nice job in his return.

The coaching staff made the necessary adjustments and were able to slow the Rams offense down in the second half.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: This was a tough one but going with the Offensive line as a whole unit, they made one of the best defensive players (Aaron Donald) in the game a non-factor, held up well in the second half and opened up the running lanes, albeit very late in the game. Honorable Mention: Like I have written T.J. Watt could win this every week. His interception really changed the tempo of the game. Kenny Pickett has late game magic.

Beer of the Game: October is Pumpkin season and Sunday was no different for the game. I had Graveyard Smash in a 16oz Pounder. KGB had Long Ireland’s version of the same brew. Both were outstanding and really had the pumpkin spirit going.

“Steel the Snacks”: Returned with a vengeance, KGB made Los Angeles signature French Dip Sliders on sweet potato rolls. We demolished 24 sandwiches in the third quarter.

My Stat of the week: Not really a stat but a historical fact, Sunday marked the first time the Steelers have beaten the Rams in Los Angeles, since January 20th, 1980, in Super Bowl XIV. Thought that was worth sharing.

My Thoughts on next week: For whatever reason, the Steelers have always struggled with the Jaguars and despite being home next week, there is a certain uneasiness about this game. If the offense could get started sooner they could run away with a victory here. They need to establish and stop the run in the first half to set the tone!

Jersey of the Week: Had to break out my own throwback, Kendrell Bell, #97 Home black, injuries derailed his promising career but always loved him as a player. This was my first time wearing it on game day in several years.

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