PITTSBURGH -- The Falcons (1-4) lost their third straight game Sunday, falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1), 41-17. Atlanta remains winless against the Steelers in Pittsburgh, and the loss was the most lopsided of the season for the Falcons.
It was a tough day in all phases for the Falcons, who gave up 41 points and 381 yards to the Steelers' offense, allowed six sacks and had a punt blocked. Offensively, the Falcons gained 324 yards - 262 passing and 62 rushing. The Falcons were led by Devonta Freeman, who ran the ball eight times for 32 yards and Austin Hooper, who caught nine passes for 77 yards.
Blocked punt helped Steelers break game open
After forcing a three-and-out deep in Falcons territory, the Steelers took greater control of the game by blocking Matt Bosher's punt. Bosher recovered the blocked punt but was tackled at the Falcons' 18-yard line, where the Steelers then gained possession.
On the third play after the blocked punt, Steelers running back James Conner scored his second touchdown of the day on a 2-yard run. The touchdown extended the Steelers' lead to 27-10 late in the third quarter.
Sanu's longest TD as a Falcon put Atlanta on the board
The Falcons' first points of the game came on Mohamed Sanu's longest touchdown catch since he arrived in Atlanta. Early in the second quarter, Sanu, lined up in the slot position, ran a quick post route and caught a well-thrown pass from Matt Ryan in stride.
After making the catch, it was a footrace for Sanu against the Steelers' defense and the end result was a 43-yard touchdown catch.
Kazee's pick stopped scoring threat
The Steelers looked poised to extend their lead just before halftime after a fair-catch interference penalty by Russell Gage set Pittsburgh up in Falcons territory. In two quick plays the Steelers moved into the red zone and figured to at least add a field goal to their 13-10 lead late in the second quarter.
On second-and-goal from the 7-yard line with 30 seconds left, however, the Falcons defense pressured Ben Roethlisberger and forced him to lob the ball towards Antonio Brown in the middle of the end zone. Falcons safety Damontae Kazee out-leapt Brown and plucked the ball out of the air, preventing the Steelers from building on their lead.
For more analysis on what occurred throughout Sunday's game, check out our in-game live blog below: