Ben's three TD passes lift Steelers past Bucs
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[September 25, 2018]
Ben Roethlisberger completed 30
of 38 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns, and the Pittsburgh
Steelers collected their first victory of the season, 30-27 over the
host Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.
Linebacker Bud Dupree returned an interception for a touchdown as
the Steelers (1-1-1) picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick three times.
Cornerback Mike Hilton and safety Terrell Edmunds also picked off
passes, receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (nine catches, 116 yards) and
tight end Vance McDonald (four catches, 112 yards, one touchdown)
topped 100 yards, and wideouts Antonio Brown and Ryan Switzer also
caught scoring passes.
The Buccaneers (2-1) received a mixed dosage of "FitzMagic" even
though the 35-year-old veteran topped 400 passing yards for an
NFL-record third consecutive game. Fitzpatrick, who completed 30 of
50 passes for 411 yards and three touchdowns, had a hand in three of
the team's four first-half turnovers while digging a 20-point
However, he resumed his success with fourth-quarter touchdown passes
to receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans (six catches, 137 yards),
the latter a 24-yarder that pulled Tampa Bay within 30-27 with 5:43
Pittsburgh was able to hold on via the ground game as James Conner
rushed for 49 of his 61 yards over the final 5:43. The Buccaneers
were forced to punt on their lone possession during that span.
Roethlisberger passed for 273 yards and three touchdowns and the
defense intercepted Fitzpatrick three times as the Steelers built a
30-10 halftime edge.
The Buccaneers struck first on Fitzpatrick's 4-yard pass to tight
end Cameron Brate midway through the first quarter before Pittsburgh
scored the next 23 points.
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;Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws the
ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at
Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY
McDonald tossed Tampa Bay safety Chris Conte aside en route to a
75-yard touchdown catch with 5:48 left in the opening quarter. Chris
Boswell kicked a 38-yard field goal to give the Steelers a 9-7 edge
with 12:14 left in the half.
Two plays after Hilton recovered a fumble, Roethlisberger connected
with Brown on a 27-yard scoring pass with 10:33 remaining until
halftime. Dupree intercepted Fitzpatrick at the Buccaneers 10-yard
line and returned it for a touchdown to make it 23-7 with 2:50 left
in the second quarter.
Roethlisberger tossed a 1-yard scoring pass to Switzer with six
seconds to go to make it 30-10.
Tampa Bay's Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 28-yard field goal midway
through the third quarter, and the Buccaneers cut their deficit to
30-20 on Fitzpatrick's 4-yard touchdown pass to Godwin with 11:06
left in the game.
Fitzpatrick has started the first three games in place of starter
Jameis Winston, who is eligible to return to the team Tuesday after
serving a three-game suspension for inappropriately touching a
female Uber driver.
--Field Level Media
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