The Buccaneers are winless no more.
Mike Glennon threw a touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson with seven seconds left in the fourth quarter to vault the Bucs to a 27-24 victory in Pittsburgh. It was Glennon’s second chance to pull a rabbit out of his hat after the previous drive died with four incompletions into the end zone and he got it done with some unlikely help.
Wide receiver Louis Murphy, signed off the street last week, turned a short completion into a 41-yard gain to the Steelers’ 5-yard line. A spike and an incompletion preceded the strike to Jackson, which left the Buccaneers with a stirring first win of the season.
Glennon had a rough first half, but turned things around on the first possession after halftime. Glennon hit Mike Evans for 40 yards to make the first big strike of the game for Tampa’s offense exactly when they needed to stop Pittsburgh’s momentum. The Steelers had scored 17 straight points after the Bucs jumped to an early lead and the game looked like it could go downhill for Tampa at that point.
Glennon, who wound up 21-of-42 for 302 yards, stopped that from happening and the Bucs defense forced punts on the final three Steelers possessions of the game. The Steelers outgained the Bucs 401-350, but gave a lot of yards back by committing 13 penalties for 125 yards over the course of the day. They also clearly missed the three injured starters they lost last week as they allowed Glennon to come back in the second half while piloting a unit that often looked discombobulated when they weren’t hitting those big plays.
Still, the win was there and the Steelers will likely hear some questions about running with Le’Veon Bell on third down before punting the ball back to the Bucs for their game-winning drive. Antonio Brown and Heath Miller combined for 17 catches and 214 receiving yards during the game and some will wonder why the Steelers looked elsewhere with the game on the line.