On Sunday the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-0) opened up a 27-7 lead on the Tennessee Titans (5-1), but needed a last-minute field goal miss from Titans placekicker Stephen Gostkowski to escape with a 27-24 victory.
Television cameras caught the hilarious facial expression of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger when Gostkowski missed a 45-yard field goal attempt wide right with 19 seconds to play.
Gostkowski has had an up-and-down season for the Titans, making 10 of 16 field goal attempts and 18 of 20 extra point attempts. He missed two field goals in his team’s Week 6 overtime win against the Houston Texans. He also missed four kicks in Tennessee’s season-opening win over the Denver Broncos. Yet he was AFC Special Teams Player of the Week in Week Three after he was 6 of 6 on field goals and 1 of 1 on extra points during a victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Mike Tomlin on the Tennessee Titans
After the game, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin went out of his way to compliment the Titans on their collective resiliency in the face of a 27-7 deficit.
“I have to tip my cap to the Tennessee Titans,” he said. “They are a mentally and physically tough group. We talked about it all week. We knew they wouldn’t flinch. Frankly, they have been in these types of games more than we have, to be quite honest with you. We knew that was a winning edge for them and it showed.”
But as he has been saying all season, Tomlin said it’s the final result that matters, and he’s happy his team has been able to learn valuable lessons while still coming away with victories.
“Not a perfect product, we understand that, but I appreciate the efforts,” he added, [and] we are perfect from a record standpoint.”
Steelers Streaks and Records
The Steelers matriculated the ball down the field on the team’s first drive of the game, ending a 23-game drought without a touchdown on the opening drive. The 75-yard march took 16 plays and 9:18 off the clock, ending on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to wide receiver Diontae Johnson.
Meanwhile, by virtue of getting two sacks of Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (one by T.J. Watt and one by Vince Williams), the Steelers extended the team’s streak of consecutive games with a sack to 63 games. That’s the third longest streak since the 1970 merger. Assuming the Steelers continue to get the requisite sacks, the team can tie and then break the record later this season, as the existing mark is 69 straight contests, held by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Also, Pittsburgh moved to 225-0-1 in games in which the team has established a 20+ point lead. This is the second team in franchise history to start 6-0; the 1978 edition started 7-0 before losing to the Houston Oilers in Week 8, 24-17.
Sunday’s contest was the sixth between teams that were at least 5-0 in Week Seven or later since the 1970 merger. The five previous winners all went on to reach the Super Bowl.
Pittsburgh’s next game will be at Baltimore on November 1 at 1 p.m. ET at M&T Bank Stadium.
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