The undefeated just became defeated. The Pittsburgh Steelers were handed their first loss of the season by the Washington Football Team on Monday night.
The Steelers were playing on a short week after taking on the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday night. Washington had an extended amount of time to prepare for this game after beating the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving.
Washington defeats Steelers for biggest upset of NFL season
The extra rest seemed to propel Washington to the finish line as the team came back from 14 points behind to beat the previously undefeated Steelers.
Washington’s defense did not generate a sack all game, but defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio only rushed four all game, and the pressure was enough to force Ben Roethlisberger into rough situations.
The pressure came at the perfect time with just under two minutes left in the game. Montez Sweat deflected a pass that ended in the hands of Washington linebacker Jon Bostic.
This led to a field goal that put Washington up six points with only 20 seconds left.
Cam Sims with the biggest catch of the game
Washington receiver Cam Sims dropped a few key passes throughout the game. However, when his team needed him the most, he made the biggest catch of the game.
On a third and short, Smith found Sims for a 29 gain with under three minutes left in the fourth quarter. This put Washington into field goal range, and kicker Dustin Hopkins gave Washington the lead with just over two minutes left.
Ron Rivera’s team does not quit
Head coach Ron Rivera has led his team to come from behind games all season. However, this was going to be the team’s toughest challenge yet.
Facing one of the best defenses in the NFL, Washington did not have the luxury of going down early. However, the team went down two touchdowns and still did not lose the fight.
Washington got a field goal at the end of the first half to cut the Steelers’ lead down to 11. At the start of the second half, Washington completed a 14-play drive to cut the lead down to four.
Penalties hurt the team, especially on offense, and put them in difficult down and distances. However, the theme of this Washington team prevailed, and the resilience showed.
Alex Smith became the quarterback Washington needed against the Steelers
Smith was playing without running back Antonio Gibson after he went down with a toe injury in the first quarter.
Washington switched the offensive game plan accordingly and relied heavily on the passing game. The offense played a lot of spread offense with five wide receivers and no running back in the backfield.
Smith had to deal with the best rusher in the NFL, T.J Watt, and still led Washington to 24 points.
Smith dropped back 46 times and made key throws to lead the Washington Football Team to victory.
As the NFC East race tightens, Washington should be reassured Smith is the best quarterback in the division, and he has the capabilities of leading them to a playoff run.