Minkah Fitzpatrick fumble return puts Steelers up before halftime

Josh Alper

The Steelers fell behind on a touchdown by the Rams defense less than a minute into the game, but they have a halftime lead after a score by their defense with less than two minutes to go in the half.

Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick‘s strong play since coming to Pittsburgh continued when he picked up a Jared Goff fumble and returned it 43 yards for a score. Goff’s arm looked like it may have been moving forward when he was hit by Javon Hargrave , but the play was reviewed and upheld despite a similar play by Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph being ruled an incompletion earlier in the half.

Fitzpatrick’s touchdown made it 14-7 and made him the first Steelers player to score defensive touchdowns in back-to-back games since 1984.

The Rams scored when Dante Fowler returned a bad shotgun snap by a touchdown a few plays into the game, but their offense hasn’t done much of anything to this point in the proceedings. Goff’s been sacked three times, they haven’t converted a third down and hurt themselves with a couple of holding penalties when the offense was showing signs of life.

The second of those penalties came on a 20-yard pickup by Robert Woods with seconds to play in the first half that would have given the Rams a field goal of less than 40 yards at the very least. Greg Zuerlein wound up missing from 56 yards instead and the Steelers are still up a touchdown at the break.

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