Chris Boswell converted a 40-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining as the Pittsburgh Steelers overcame a sloppy fourth quarter performance to hold off the Chicago Bears in a 29-27 victory on Monday night.
A 65-yard field goal attempt from Cairo Santos as time expired fell way short as the Steelers survived.
The Steelers held a 20-6 lead headed to the fourth quarter. However, Justin Fields and the Bears started finding some success on offense and a fumbled punt return that went for Bears touchdown helped Chicago claw back into the game. Fields led Chicago on a seven-play, 75-yard drive to give the Bears the lead with 1:46 left to play.
Ben Roethlisberger then marched the Steelers 52 yards in seven plays to set up Boswell’s winning kick.
Roethlisberger completed 21 of 30 passes for just 205 yards with two interceptions on the night for Pittsburgh.
It was a game that didn’t reasonably seem as though it should be that close in the final seconds.
Najee Harris scored on a 10-yard run on the opening possession of the game for the Steelers to take the early lead. After a Fields interception, Ben Roethlisberger hit tight end Pat Freiermuth for a 4-yard touchdown as the lead became 14-0 early in the second quarter.
Fields was held to just 5 of 11 passing for 63 yards two sacks and an interception in the first half for Chicago.
Cairo Santos’ 30-yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the half made it a 14-3 Steelers lead at the break.
The Bears went 89 yards on 10 plays on their first possession of the third quarter before settling for a 22-yard Santos field goal to make it a 14-6 game. Chicago gained a total of 104 yards on the drive and Fields threw a would-be touchdown to Jimmy Graham only to have it negated by a 15-yard low block penalty on James Daniels. The field goal followed instead for the Bears.
Freiermuth’s second touchdown of the night, a 10-yard score, made it a 20-6 Steelers lead after Chris Boswell missed the extra point try wide left.
Boswell connected on a 54-yard field goal to push the Steelers lead to 23-13.
Jakeem Grant fumbled on the ensuing kickoff and Pittsburgh recovered at the Bears’ 42-yard line. However, they were unable to do anything with the field possession as a sack of Roethlisberger by Roquan Smith pushed Pittsburgh out of field goal range.
The Bears then got a special teams takeaway of their own to help get them back in the game. Ray-Ray McCloud fumbled on a Chicago punt as Joel Iyiegbuniwe knocked the ball loose. DeAndre Houston-Carson picked up the loose ball and ran it in for a 25-yard touchdown to close the Steelers lead to 23-20 with 6:31 left to play.
Chicago’s defense appeared to hold the Steelers near midfield as Cassius Marsh sacked Roethlisberger for a 7-yard loss to force fourth-and-15. However, Marsh got slapped with a very thin taunting call to give Pittsburgh a fresh set of downs. The Steelers turned the extra chance into a 52-yard Boswell field goal to go up 26-20 with 2:52 left to play.
Despite the flimsy taunting call on Marsh, the Bears were penalized 12 times on the night for 115 yards.
Fields converted a third-and-1 with his legs before hitting Allen Robinson for 39 yards on third-and-2 to move the Bears inside the red zone. On the next play, Fields broke the pocket and found Mooney for a 16-yard touchdown as Chicago took their first lead of the night, 27-26, after Santos’ extra point with 1:46 remaining.
Fields ultimately completed 17 of 29 passes for 291 yards with a touchdown and an interception on the night for Chicago despite the slow first half.
The victory is the 150th win of Mike Tomlin’s head coaching career with the Steelers.