Gridiron Report: Steelers Squeak Past Falcons to Win 19-16

Written By Anthony Cugini, Staff Writer

The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday by a score of 19-16.

The Steelers defense had yet another good game as they stifled the Atlanta offense for the majority of the game. Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota threw for only 167 yards while also throwing the game sealing interception to Steelers’ star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Kenny Pickett and running back Najee Harris both shined in the victory.

After failing to throw a touchdown in last week’s win in Indianapolis, Pickett was able to connect with rookie tight end Connor Heyward for a 17-yard touchdown. This ended up as the only touchdown of the day for Pittsburgh as they relied on backup kicker Matthew Wright for the rest of the scoring.

Najee Harris had yet another impressive performance as he ran for 86 yards. Harris displayed the toughness and grit he’s always been praised for as he threw off defenders left and right. Considering the injury designation Harris carried all week throughout practice, this is one of the gutsiest performances us Steeler fans have seen all year.

Wide receiver Diontae Johnson continued to struggle as he narrowly avoided a massive mistake in the second half. On a third down and eight, Johnson appeared to catch a pass then completely lose the ball as he went to turn up field. The Falcons then recovered the fumble to give themselves phenomenal field position. 

After review, it was determined Johnson never had possession and the pass was ruled incomplete. The Steelers dodged a bullet as from both my perspective, and the announcers’, it seemed to be a clear catch and fumble. 

This wasn’t the only problem Johnson displayed during the game, as he dropped a wide open pass early on. Johnson continues to have the same issues week after week. From an outside view, it seems that Johnson hasn’t learned anything during his time in the NFL. There’s no growth to be seen. 

I’d suggest the coaching staff send him a message. That could be a drive or two on the bench or an extra hour or two at practices. Either way, if he continues to have these problems, his lucrative contract is going to be very hard to justify.

For the first time this season, the Steelers have won back-to-back games as they beat the Falcons just six days after defeating the Indianapolis Colts.

The Steelers will look ahead to next Sunday where they’ll play the Baltimore Ravens in one of the best rivalries in football. The Ravens are 8-4 after sneaking past the Denver Broncos by a score of 10-9, though there are concerns about Baltimore’s quarterback position as Lamar Jackson left the game early with a knee injury. The Steelers will look to grind out a win in Pittsburgh against their division rivals.