T.J. Watt, Steelers defense power overtime win over Seahawks
Oct. 18 (UPI) -- T.J. Watt forced a fumble in overtime, setting up a game-winning Chris Boswell field goal and leading the Pittsburgh Steelers to a dramatic Week 6 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Boswell split the uprights with a 37-yard attempt to clinch the 23-20 win Sunday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Watt logged two of the Steelers' five sacks on Seahawks backup quarterback Geno Smith, who started in place of injured star Russell Wilson.
"Even though we got gashed, we found a way," Watt told reporters. "A win is a win in the National Football League, even if it's not pretty."
Rookie running back Najee Harris totaled 127 yards from scrimmage and a score on 30 touches for the Steelers. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 29 of 40 passes for 229 yards and a score.
"I hate coming up short," Smith told reporters. "It was a hard-fought game. ... We can't come up short. I can't come up short. I put that on myself.
"For back-to-back weeks, our defense gives us a chance to score and we didn't get it done. That is solely on me."
Neither team scored in the first quarter. The Steelers took a 7-0 lead when Roethlisberger threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Harris five minutes into the second quarter.
Tight end Eric Ebron ran for a 1-yard touchdown on the Steelers next possession. The Steelers led 14-0 at halftime.
The Seahawks used a 10-play, 75-yard drive to score on the first possession of the second half. Running back Alex Collins ended the drive with a 2-yard rushing touchdown. Boswell answered with a 27-yard field goal on the next possession.
Smith threw a 1-yard touchdown toss to tight end Will Dissly with 3:02 remaining in the third to cut the deficit to three points.
The Seahawks tied the game on their next drive with a 40-yard field goal from Jason Myers. Roethlisberger fumbled on the next possession, but the Seahawks offense couldn't capitalize on the turnover.
Boswell made a 52-yard kick to give the Steelers a 20-17 lead with 1:30 left in regulation. The Seahawks marched into Steelers territory on their next drive. Smith connected with D.K. Metcalf for a 12-yard gain with 16 seconds remaining, but the Seahawks wide receiver fumbled.
Fellow Seahawks wide receiver Freddie Swain jumped on the loose ball, but the clock continued to run. The Seahawks raced back to the line of scrimmage and Smith spiked the ball to stop the clock. Myers made a 43-yard field goal as time expired to force overtime.
Both teams punted to start overtime. Smith faked a pass and ran up the middle on the Seahawks second drive of the bonus period.
Watt escaped a block and swatted the ball out of Smith's left hand for a fumble. Steelers linebacker Devin Bush recovered the loose ball and was tackled at the Seahawks 16-yard line.
Boswell made his game-winning kick three snaps later.
"I'm always punching at the ball," Watt told reporters, when asked about his forced fumble. "It's something I always try to be aware of. When the quarterback is running with the football, it is never fully secured.
"I don't know if I saw it or it was just muscle memory, but I'm glad it happened."
Smith completed 23 of 32 passes for 209 yards and a score in the loss. Collins ran for 101 yards and a score on 20 carries. Seahawks linebackers Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks totaled 14 tackles apiece.
Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith totaled seven tackles with 1.5 sacks in the win. Steelers defensive tackles Cameron Heyward and Chris Wormley logged a sack and a half-sack, respectively.
Seahawks defensive end Darrell Taylor sustained a neck injury in the fourth quarter and was taken off the field on a stretcher. He was transported by ambulance to a local hospital Sunday night.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters that Taylor was moving his extremities. He was cleared to fly back with the team to Seattle.
The Steelers (3-3) battle the Cleveland Browns in an AFC North division matchup at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday in Cleveland. The Seahawks (2-4) host the New Orleans Saints at 8:15 p.m. EDT on Oct. 25 in Seattle.