Steelers make it 2 in a row with 19-16 win over Falcons
ATLANTA (AP) — Kenny Pickett tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Connor Heyward, Matthew Wright kicked four field goals and the Pittsburgh Steelers made it two wins in a row for the first time this season, holding off the Atlanta Falcons 19-16 Sunday.
Coming off a Monday night victory at Indianapolis, the Steelers (5-7) finally put together a winning streak in what has been a tough rebuilding year in Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, Atlanta (5-8) squandered an opportunity near the goal line for the second week in a row.
After having a deflected pass picked off in the end zone at Washington, which preserved the Commanders’ 19-13 victory, the Falcons had first-and-goal from the Steelers 10 with another chance to pull out a victory with a touchdown.
But a clear holding penalty on Parker Hesse wiped out Cordarrelle Patterson’s apparent TD run around left end, and the Falcons wound up settling for Younghoe Koo’s third field goal of the day from 28 yards with 5:27 remaining.
The Steelers ran off all but the final 42 seconds before Pressley Harvin pinned a punt at the Falcons’ 2-yard line. In desperation mode with no timeouts remaining, Marcus Mariota’s pass was picked off by Minkah Fitzpatrick to seal the victory and send a hefty contingent of towel-waving Steelers fans into a wild celebration that made Mercedes-Benz Stadium look like Pittsburgh South.
Pickett’s touchdown pass to Heyward came midway through the second quarter, set up by a 57-yard completion to Pat Freiermiuth.
Wright connected from 46, 46, 48 and 38 yards. The Steelers took a 19-6 lead into the final minute of the third quarter before the Falcons finally reached the end zone.
Tight end MyCole Pruitt, who has taken on a bigger role in the passing game with Kyle Pitts out for the season, hauled in a 7-yard touchdown pass from Mariota to cap an eight-play, 75-yard drive that made it 19-13.
The Falcons got the ball back and drove down the field again, converting on fourth-and-1 before Anthony Firkser hauled in a 15-yard pass to make it first-and-goal at the 10.
But Hesse’s penalty sent the Falcons to another tough loss.
Steelers: CB Levi Wallace appeared to hurt an arm or hand when he ran into Fitzpatrick in the first half. SS Terrell Edmunds was injured on the first play of second half after tackling Patterson. RT Chukwuma Okorafor hobbled off the field in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury.
Falcons: LB Troy Anderson went down with an ankle injury.
Steelers: Return home next Sunday to face the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC North matchup.
Falcons: Off next weekend. They will return to action in New Orleans against the NFC South rival Saints on Dec. 18.
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