GAME RECAP (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
(PITTSBURGH) - The last time the Green Bay Packers came to Heinz Field to face the Pittsburgh Steelers, quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger hooked up in a duel for the ages. No one expected anything like that Sunday night, particularly with backup Brett Hundley playing for Rodgers, who is sidelined because of a broken clavicle. However, the game went down to the final play again, and this time Chris Boswell's 53-yard field goal with no time left gave the Steelers a 31-28 win. "We persevered in the face of adversity," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. "We made the necessary plays. We overcame adversity, big plays by them, turnovers by us and all of those things. We didn't blink. We stayed together and made the necessary plays to win." Hundley, the third-year injury replacement, gave Roethlisberger and the Steelers the full Rodgers treatment with touchdown passes of 39, 54 and 55 yards, but the old veteran Roethlisberger found his go-to receiver, Antonio Brown, in the late going to set up Boswell's game-winning kick. Pittsburgh (9-2) won its sixth consecutive game while Green Bay (5-6) lost its second in a row. "You have an opportunity each week," said Hundley, who completed 17 of 26 passes for 245 yards and a 134.3 passer rating. "I didn't like my performance last week, and I'll try to the best of my ability to make sure that it doesn't happen again. I just want to give this team an opportunity to win, and I feel like we were really close." The duel started early and picked up with Hundley's 55-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams on the Packers' first possession of the second half. The play gave the Packers a 21-14 lead, but Roethlisberger tied the game late in the third quarter with a 1-yard fade pass to Brown that tied score at 21. The game was setting up for a finish similar to the epic 2009 game in which Roethlisberger and Rodgers combined for 886 passing yards in a 37-36 Steelers win on the last play of the game. Almost eight years later, the teams went into the fourth quarter tied at 21 before Roethlisberger's 33-yard touchdown pass to Brown gave the Steelers their first lead at 28-21 with 8:42 left. Hundley didn't back down. He guided the Packers to the tying touchdown on a 12-play, 77-yard drive. Jamaal Williams scored on a 4-yard run with 2:02 remaining. The teams exchanged punts, and the Steelers took possession at their 30-yard with 17 seconds left. Roethlisberger threw 23 yards to Brown, who made a spectacular toe-tapping catch. Another pass to Brown, for 14 yards, moved the Steelers into field-goal range. Boswell kicked his 53-yarder with no time left to pull out a Steelers win on the last play once again. The key play was Brown's catch at the Steelers' sideline. Two officials looked at each other in hesitation before calling it a catch. The play then went to the replay booth. "I've been looking at A.B. for a long time," Tomlin said of whether he had doubts about Brown getting his feet down. "It's A.B." Was Tomlin confident it was a catch? "That will be the story I tell," he said. "With all due respect," Roethlisberger said, "not surprised or amazed. It's what he does. He's just special." Roethlisberger posted a 106.8 passer rating by completing 33 of 45 passes for 351 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. Brown, the NFL's leading receiver, caught 10 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Le'Veon Bell, the NFL's leading rusher, gained 95 yards on 20 carries. He also had 12 catches for 88 yards. The Steelers took the opening kickoff and drove 59 yards in 12 plays to score the game's first touchdown. Roethlisberger's 1-yard shovel pass to tight end Xavier Grimble on fourth-and-goal gave the Steelers a 6-0 lead. Boswell's extra-point attempt sailed wide. The Packers also scored on their first possession, only Mason Crosby made his extra point for a 7-6 lead. Hundley threw the 39-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb, who was running free down the left sideline. Right cornerback Artie Burns cost the Steelers a turnover on the previous play when a strip-sack by Stephon Tuitt was negated by his hands-to-the-face penalty. The Packers added to their lead with another first-quarter touchdown. A 54-yard screen pass to rookie Williams was set up by a Damarious Randall interception. The touchdown by Williams was aided by the poor angle taken by safety Sean Davis after Hundley caught the Steelers in a blitz. The Packers grabbed a 14-6 lead with 1:22 left in the opening quarter. The Steelers tied the score in the middle of the second quarter on Roethlisberger's 17-yard touchdown pass to Martavis Bryant, who ran past cornerback Josh Hawkins and caught the ball in the back corner of the end zone. Roethlisberger passed to Brown for the two-point conversion to forge a tie with 7:20 left in the half.
NOTES: Packers CB Kevin King returned from a shoulder injury to play in the second half. ... Steelers DE Cameron Heyward had two sacks to increase his team-high total to nine. The only Steelers 3-4 defensive end to record double-digit sacks was Keith Willis with 14 in 1983 and 12 in 1986. ... The Packers made OLB Clay Matthews inactive because of a groin injury. It was the first game Matthews missed this season. Kyler Fackrell started in his place, while Quinton Dial started at nose tackle for the injured Kenny Clark. ... Martavis Bryant replaced injured rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster on the Steelers' kickoff-return team and returned the opening kickoff 38 yards, the team long for the season by 13 yards. ... The Steelers hadn't allowed a touchdown on an opening drive in 27 regular-season games before the Packers scored on their first possession.
GREEN BAY PITTSBURGH
First downs 15 28
Rushes-yards 24-80 24-121
Net Passing yards 227 341
Passing (Att-Comp-Int) 26-17-0 45-33-2
Sacked-Yards Lost 4-18 1-10
Punts-Average 7-41.4 5-40.4
Fumbles 0 1
Penalties-Yards 3-27 5-45
Time of Possession 26:24 33:36
GREEN BAY - 14 0 7 7 - 28
PITTSBURGH - 6 8 7 10 - 31
1st - PITT - Xavier Grimble, 1-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Kick failed) PITTSBURGH 6-0
1st - GB - Randall Cobb, 39-yard pass from Brett Hundley (Mason Crosby kick) GREEN BAY 7-6
1st - GB - Jamaal Williams, 54-yard pass from Hundley (Crosby kick) GREEN BAY 14-6
2nd - PITT - Martavis Bryant, 17-yard pass from Roethlisberger (Antonio Brown pass from Roethlisberger) TIED 14-14
3rd - GB - Davante Adams, 55-yard pass from Hundley (Crosby kick) GREEN BAY 21-14
3rd - PITT - Brown, 1-yard pass from Roethlisberger (Chris Boswell kick) TIED 21-21
4th - PITT - Brown, 33-yard pass from Roethlisberger (Boswell kick) PITTSBURGH 28-21
4th - GB - Williams, 4-yard run (Crosby kick) TIED 28-28
4th - PITT - Boswell, 53-yard field goal PITTSBURGH 31-28
GREEN BAY - Jamaal Williams 21-66 1 TD, Brett Hundley 1-6, Aaron Ripkowski 1-1, Trevor Davis 1-1
PITTSBURGH - Le'Veon Bell 20-95, Ben Roethlisberger 3-25, Martavis Bryant 1-1
GREEN BAY - Brett Hundley 26-17-245 3 TD
PITTSBURGH - Ben Roethlisberger 45-33-351 4 TD 2 INT
GREEN BAY - Davante Adams 5-82 1 TD, Jamaal Williams 4-69 1 TD, Randall Cobb 4-58 1 TD, Jordy Nelson 3-11, Richard Rodgers 1-25
PITTSBURGH - Le'Veon Bell 12-88, Antonio Brown 10-169 2 TD, Martavis Bryant 4-40 1 TD, Jesse James 3-32, Eli Rogers 3-21, Xavier Grimble 1-1 1 TD
Packers lose heartbreaker to Steelers, 31-28
PITTSBURGH - Steelers kicker Chris Boswell drilled a 53-yard field goal on the game’s final play to give Pittsburgh a 31-28 victory over Green Bay on Sunday night at Heinz Field. The Steelers’ final drive ruined a clutch game-tying TD drive by Packers QB Brett Hundley, and the loss dropped the Packers to 5-6 on the season. Pittsburgh improved to 9-2. Hundley finished 17-of-26 for 245 yards with three touchdowns for a 134.3 passer rating. RB Jamaal Williams had 21 rushes for 66 yards and four receptions for 69 yards, with two touchdowns total. WR Davante Adams had five catches for 82 yards and a score, and WR Randall Cobb had four catches for 58 yards and a TD. Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger was 33-of-45 for 351 yards with four TDs and two interceptions for a 106.8 rating. RB Le’Veon Bell had 20 carries for 95 yards, plus 12 receptions for 88 more. WR Antonio Brown had 10 catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Here's a recap of all the action.
First quarter: The Packers scored on their first two possessions and got one turnover on defense in the first quarter as they took a 14-6 lead over the Steelers. The Packers won the toss and deferred. WR Martavis Bryant returned the opening kickoff 38 yards to the Pittsburgh 41, and QB Ben Roethlisberger hit WR Antonio Brown for 20 yards on the game’s first snap. A 10-yard pass to Bryant and an 11-yard run by RB Le’Veon Bell got the Steelers into the red zone. On third-and-6 from the 14, Roethlisberger found TE Jesse James on a quick screen for 10 yards. The Packers stopped them on three plays from inside the 5-yard line, but on fourth-and-goal from the 1, Roethlisberger’s shovel pass to TE Xavier Grimble was good for the TD. K Chris Boswell was wide left on the extra point, leaving the score 6-0 with 8:14 left in the quarter. A personal foul on the Steelers on the touchback gave the Packers the ball on the 40 to start. Two runs by RB Jamaal Williams for 12 yards picked up one first down. An illegal hands to the face penalty wiped out a third-down sack to move the chains again. QB Brett Hundley then found a wide-open WR Randall Cobb down the left sideline for a 39-yard touchdown, and K Mason Crosby’s PAT gave the Packers a 7-6 lead. Roethlisberger got the Steelers moving again on a 17-yard pass to James on third-and-5, one snap after James dropped a wide-open ball over the middle. On the next third down, CB Damarious Randall stepped in front of WR Eli Rogers for a diving interception. He was ruled down by contact after a replay review of his return for a TD, and the Packers took over on their own 45. Three snaps later, on third-and-9, Hundley threw a screen pass to Williams, who raced up the field untouched for a 54-yard touchdown, putting the Packers up 14-6 with 1:22 left in the quarter. Pittsburgh faced third-and-1 from its own 30 as the quarter expired.
Second quarter: The Steelers got a second-quarter touchdown and made up for their missed PAT with a two-point conversion to tie the game at 14 at halftime. Roethlisberger hit Brown for a 2-yard gain to convert on third-and-short to open the second quarter. A 13-yard pass to Brown picked up another first down, but on the ensuing third-and-5, Roethlisberger was tackled by LB Kyler Fackrell 2 yards short of the first down on a scramble, and the Steelers punted. Taking over on their own 5, the Packers went three-and-out and had to punt from their own 10. A holding penalty on the Steelers on the return hurt their potential good field position and they started on their own 35. Roethlisberger hit Brown for 39 yards on third-and-5 to get the ball to the Green Bay 21. Two plays later, he connected with Bryant on a 17-yard touchdown to complete a quick five-play scoring drive. Roethlisberger’s pass to Brown was good for the two-point conversion, tying the game at 14 with 7:20 left in the half. Hundley scrambled for 6 yards on third down to move the sticks, but Cobb was stopped on the next third down on a shovel pass, and the Packers punted again. It was also announced that Packers rookie CB Kevin King was questionable to return with a shoulder injury, which kept King out of last week’s game as well. Bell picked up 8 yards on a shovel pass, and then 6 and 3 on runs to take it down to the two-minute warning. Roethlisberger scrambled for 14 yards to get across midfield. On third-and-7 from the 43, the pass to Brown, guarded by CB Davon House, was incomplete. WR Trevor Davis fair-caught the Pittsburgh punt on the Green Bay 10 with 1:06 on the clock. Williams ran for 12 yards and gained 5 on a screen, and the Packers called timeout with 37 seconds left. After one more run, the Packers let the clock run out.
Third quarter: Both teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter and the Packers and Steelers headed to the fourth quarter tied at 21-all. The Packers got the ball to open the second half, and Williams ran three times for 14 yards and then caught a pass for 7 more. Then on third-and-3, Hundley found WR Davante Adams running free down the right sideline, and Adams weaved his way back across the middle for the score, going 55 yards in all. The Packers were back in front, 21-14. Bell ran four straight times for 21 yards, and then Roethlisberger hit Bryant to convert on third down and get across midfield. A holding call pushed Pittsburgh back, and then LB Ahmad Brooks tipped an attempted screen pass up in the air, and LB Blake Martinezmade a sliding interception, giving the Packers the ball on the Pittsburgh 45. Williams ran three straight times for 14 yards, but Hundley was sacked for a 5-yard loss on first down. He was sacked again on third down for a 3-yard loss, setting up a 57-yard field goal try. Crosby’s kick was low and wide left, and the Steelers took over in good field position. A pass to Bell gained 12 right away, and Roethlisberger scrambled for 8 yards for another first down. Another pass to Bell for 15 got the ball in the red zone, and a leaping 11-yard catch by Brown made it first-and-goal on the 3. House was called for pass interference in the end zone, putting the ball on the 1, and Roethlisberger lofted a fade to Brown in the back corner of the end zone for the score. Boswell’s PAT tied the score at 21 with 50 seconds left in the quarter. The Packers went three-and-out, with Steelers DT Cameron Heyward getting his second sack in as many series on third down as the quarter expired.
Fourth quarter: Bell began the fourth quarter with a 14-yard run across midfield. Two snaps later, though, Bell fumbled on hits from DT Quinton Dial and S Morgan Burnett, and Martinez recovered for the Packers at the Green Bay 34. Three straight incompletions by Hundley led to a punt. A facemask penalty on Packers S Josh Jones forced a re-kick, and the Steelers took over on their own 32. DT Mike Daniels sacked Roethlisberger for a 10-yard loss on first down, but a 14-yard pass to Bell and an 11-yard pass to Rogers moved the chains anyway. Martinez tackled Bell for a 3-yard loss, but he gained back 12 on a screen pass and then converted on third-and-1 with an 11-yard run to the Green Bay 33. Roethlisberger then hit Brown down the right sideline for the touchdown, and the Steelers took their first lead since the opening quarter, 28-21, with 8:42 left. Hundley hit TE Richard Rodgers over the middle for 25 yards to start the next drive. A 12-yard pass to Cobb picked up another first down and got the Packers across midfield. A 12-yard pass to Adams moved the chains again for a first down at the Pittsburgh 27. A 7-yard pass to WR Jordy Nelson and a 2-yard run by Williams set up third-and-1, and Nelson picked it up by reaching the ball across the marker along the sideline. On third-and-12 from the 18, a slip screen to Cobb picked up 6 yards to the 12, making it fourth-and-6. After a timeout, Hundley hit Adams for 8 yards to make it first-and-goal on the 4, and Williams scored on a draw play on the next snap. Crosby’s PAT tied the game at 28 with 2:02 left. A 6-yard completion to Rogers took things to the two-minute warning. A 13-yard pass to Brown made it first down on the 44, and a quick flip to Bell went for 10 more to the Green Bay 46. Two incomplete passes brought up third-and-10, and a deep cross to Rogers was also incomplete, forcing a punt. Davis’ fair catch gave the Packers a shot from their own 18 with 1:20 left. Hundley was sacked by T.J. Watt for a 6-yard loss on first down, and Williams picked up 3 yards on a short pass, making it third-and-13 with 32 seconds left. A draw to Williams gained 4 yards, and the Steelers called timeout with 27 seconds left. The punt and Brown’s short return took the clock down to 17 seconds, and Pittsburgh was on its own 30. Roethlisberger fired deep to the left sideline to Brown, who made an incredible toe-drag catch for 23 yards that was upheld on replay review. The Steelers were on the Green Bay 47 with 13 seconds left. Another pass to Brown on the sideline gained 14 to the Green Bay 33 with 9 seconds left. A short pass to Bell lost 2 yards, and the Steelers called timeout with 4 seconds left for a 53-yard field goal try. Boswell made it.