The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) fall to the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) 34-23 Friday night at Raymond James Stadium.
The Buccaneers offense wasn't able to get much going on their opening possession, which led to the Buccaneers having to punt the ball. The Steelers pieced together a scoring drive as QB Kenny Pickett connected with WR George Pickens on a 33-yard pass and catch, giving the Steelers a 7-0 lead with 7:39 remaining in the opening quarter. The Steelers held onto the 7-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Bucs QB Baker Mayfield connected on an 8-yard TD pass to WR Trey Palmer with 12:20 remaining. Chase McLaughlin's extra point was good, tying the game up at seven. On the following drive, Steelers QB Mitch Trubisky was picked off by Buccaneers CB Zyon McCollum with 12:11 remaining. The Buccaneers took over with field position at their 41-yard line. Tampa Bay's drive stalled out after attempting to convert a 4th-and-one, and the Steelers took over at the Buccaneers 47-yard line. Pittsburgh capitalized with a 14-yard TD run by RB Anthony McFarland, extending the Steelers lead, 14-7 with 8:18 left in the half. The Steelers added on a 30-yard field goal to end the opening half. The Steelers led the Buccaneers 17-7.
The Steelers were able to tack on three more points after Potter knocked down his 43-yard field goal. Midway through the quarter, the Steelers added another touchdown, as QB Mason Rudolph connected with WR Calvin Austin on a 67-yard TD pass, giving the Steelers a 27-7 lead with 8:28 remaining in the third quarter. After three quarters, the Steelers led the Buccaneers 27-7.
Tampa Bay's Rodrigo Blankenship made a 35-yard FG try; the Buccaneers made it a 17-point game, trailing 27-10 in the 4th quarter. Bucs QB John Wolford connects with TE Payne Durham on a 4-yard TD pass with 1:58 left in the game. The final score, 27-17, Pittsburgh prevailed.
The Buccaneers now prepare to face the New York Jets on Saturday, August 19th, in New Jersey. Kickoff time is 7:30 PM ET - you can hear the game on 97.9 WXTB-FM - The Mighty 98 Rock.
PHOTO COURTESY: GETTY IMAGES