(Sunday, October 16th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 17, Jacksonville 13
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Rashard Mendenhall ran for 146 yards and a touchdown as the Pittsburgh Steelers held off the Jacksonville Jaguars for a 17-13 victory.
Ben Roethlisberger completed 12-of-23 passes for 200 yards and a score for Pittsburgh (4-2), which had lost three straight against Jacksonville, including the playoffs.
Blaine Gabbert threw for 109 yards and a touchdown on 12-of-26 passing as the Jaguars (1-5) suffered their fifth straight loss.
Maurice Jones-Drew carried the ball 22 times for 96 yards in defeat.
After having to punt only once in the first half, Pittsburgh was forced to kick it away on its first possession of the second while holding a 17-3 lead.
A roughing the kicker penalty on the Steelers allowed the Jaguars to keep the ball on a 4th-and-21, and Gabbert later scrambled to convert a fourth down at the Steelers' 44. The 17-play drive ate up more than 9 1/2 minutes of clock and ended with Gabbert hitting Jason Hill for an 18-yard touchdown.
The teams traded punts until Jacksonville took over at its own 48 with 7:13 left in the game. Gabbert hit Marcedes Lewis for a 21-yard gain on the first play of the drive, but the Jaguars could not pick up another first down and Josh Scobee nailed a 45-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 17-13 with 4:17 to go.
Jacksonville then held Pittsburgh to just one first down and got the ball back at its own 23-yard line with 1:01 to go. A Mike Thomas 18-yard catch put the ball at the Steelers' 48 with three seconds left, and Gabbert spiked the ball to set up a final play. But Gabbert did not give his receivers enough time to get into the end zone on the Hail Mary attempt, and the ball fell to the ground between three Steeler defenders.
"Great to get the win. Not the type of finish we're looking for but, obviously, we'll take it," Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin said. "We acknowledge we didn't play the type of football we wanted to in the second half."
The Steelers forced a Jacksonville punt on the first possession of the game, then took over at their own 13-yard line. They marched to midfield before Emmanuel Sanders hauled in a 32-yard pass to get into the Jaguars' red zone.
Two plays later, Mendenhall capped the 10-play drive by breaking off the right side of the line and stiff-arming a defender to the ground on his way to an eight-yard score.
The Jags were held to a three-and-out, and Pittsburgh quickly notched another touchdown when Mike Wallace hauled in a 28-yard TD pass on a deep post early in the second quarter.
The Steelers forced another three-and-out, and on their ensuing drive, Mendenhall broke out for a career-high 68-yard run on the first play to put the ball on the Jacksonville two. But Jacksonville's defense held and Shaun Suisham connected on a 21-yard field goal to make it a 17-0 game with 10:58 left in the first half.
Jacksonville got on the board on the following drive, when Scobee split the uprights from 46 yards out. Jones-Drew started the march with a 19-yard rush off the left side of the line, and a neutral zone infraction on Pittsburgh on a third down kept the eight-play drive alive.
Suisham missed a 46-yard field goal wide left on Pittsburgh's next drive to keep the score 17-3 at the half.
"We dug a hole early. We couldn't get them off the field and allowed a couple touchdowns," Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said. "We just need to play a little bit better in key moments."
The Steelers outgained the Jaguars 315-68 in the first half, but were outgained 141-55 in the second half...Jones-Drew also caught two passes for eight yards and needs just six more yards from scrimmage to reach 8,000 for his career...The Steelers have a 27-8 record at home under Tomlin...Jacksonville holds an 11-10 edge in the all-time series.
10/16 18:37:06 ET
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