Falcons Fall Short Against the Steelers, 27-20

FIRST QUARTER

The visiting Pittsburgh Steelers won the coin toss, elected to receive and came away with three points on their first drive. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger led his team's scoring drive that used 10 plays, covering 60 yards in 5:51, ending with a 38-yard field goal by kicker Shaun Suisham. PIT 3 ATL 0

Atlanta's offense moved into Pittsburgh territory at the 44-yard line on its first drive of the game, later ending with a punt by Matt Bosher, pinning the Steelers on their 8-yard line.

Roethlisberger ignited Pittsburgh's second drive of the game with a 44-yard completion to running back Le'Veon Bell. Three plays later, the Falcons defense pushed the Steelers back seven yards after a combined sack by Prince Shembo and Paul Soliai. Unable to convert on a later third-and-long situation, Suisham ended the drive with another 38-yard field goal. PIT 6 ATL 0

SECOND QUARTER

Pittsburgh opened the second quarter with a defensive score. Attempting a throw to wide receiver Harry Douglas, Ryan was picked off by Steelers cornerback William Gay, who returned the interception 52 yards for the score. PIT 13 ATL 0

The game's next two offensive drives resulted in punts before the Falcons got on the scoreboard.

Ryan led an aerial attack to get his team back in the game, including three completed passes that covered 11, 24 and 10 yards. On 2nd-and-8 from Pittsburgh's 35-yard line, Ryan was hit hard by Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds, who was flagged for a roughing-the-passer penalty. Three plays later, Ryan hit Devin Hester with a 17-yard strike for the score. PIT 13 ATL 7.

Roethlisberger responded to Ryan's amazing drive with a scoring drive of his own. "Big Ben" directed a 12-play drive that covered 80 yards in 3:52, ending with a 1-yard touchdown run by Bell. PIT 20 ATL 7

THIRD QUARTER

Atlanta's offense got out of the gate quickly in the second half. Ryan found Hester for a 46-yard gain on the first play of the third quarter, followed by a 16-yard completion to Douglas. An offensive holding call against the Falcons pushed them back to the Steelers' 28-yard line. The next three plays gained 12 yards, leading to a 28-yard field goal by Bryant.

The Falcons defense forced the Steelers to punt on their opening drive of the half.  Just over six minutes later, Atlanta narrowed its deficit after a 22-yard field goal by Bryant. The Falcons used 13 plays to cover 75 yards in 6:04, ending with Bryant's second field goal of the day. PIT 20 ATL 13

FOURTH QUARTER

Two plays into the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh added to its lead, following a 13-yard touchdown run by Bell. The second-year running back capped off a six-play, 80-yard drive that took 3:29 off the clock.

Roddy White helped the Falcons respond in historic fashion on the team's next offensive drive. He made the most of a 10-play drive that covered 84 yards in 3:50, ending with his 62nd-career touchdown, a new franchise record. Ryan found White for the 4-yard score, putting the Falcons within a touchdown of the Steelers, 27-20.

The game's next two offensive drives resulted in punts before Pittsburgh began what would be its final drive of the game. Facing a 3rd-and-1 on Atlanta's 39-yard line, Roethlisberger connected with tight end Heath Miller for a 25-yard gain. The Steelers milked the clock and walked off the field with a 27-20 victory.

The loss drops the Falcons to 5-9 with two key NFC South games remaining on the schedule, beginning next week in New Orleans.

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