Vance McDonald lays out Chris Conte with vicious stiff arm

Rex Christensen
September 26, 2018

The loss dropped the Bucs to 2-1 while the Steelers improved to 1-1-1. Let the Fitzpatrick/Winston debate begin in earnest, but it's not going to be easy to bench a guy averaging 11.1 yards per pass attempt.

The Bucs got off to a fast start Monday.

Roethlisberger went down three times, but Brentson Buckner won't be happy with the overall pressure, especially when you consider 3-time Pro Bowl guard David DeCastro didn't play for Pittsburgh due to a fractured right hand.

The Bucs had just turned a Ben Roethlisberger interception into points, via a touchdown reception by tight end Cameron Brate, and the crowd was into the game. A victory in Chicago would make it a very sweet first quarter of the season.

After dispatching of Conte, McDonald raced for a 75-yard touchdown.

McDonald's first touchdown of 2018 brought the Steelers within a point of Tampa Bay following a missed extra point by Chris Boswell.

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Godwin capped the Bucs' first last-ditch drive of the fourth quarter with a nifty move on Steelers cornerback Coty Sensabaugh before he skied to grab a 4-yard TD pass. Roethlisberger found Smith-Schuster for 43 yards as Brent Grimes mis-timed his leap.

The teams combined for five roughing-the-passer penalties, most in an NFL game since 2001, as fans around the league continue to gripe about flags being thrown for what appear to be routine tackles.

Two plays after Hilton recovered a fumble, Roethlisberger connected with Brown on a 27-yard scoring pass with 10:33 remaining until halftime.

"We just did so many things in the first half of that game that we haven't been doing, so many things to beat ourselves", Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said. Fitzpatrick has made some untimely throws that include a 10-yard pick-six from Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree. Pittsburgh used those 75 seconds to drive 75 yards for a 30-10 lead.

Chris Godwin's first three quarters Monday night weren't as rough as Ryan Fitzpatrick's, but they were close. Fitzpatrick led a long field goal drive that consumed almost eight minutes of the third quarter. The Bucs got the ball back with plenty of time to get within field-goal range, but Fitzpatrick fired incomplete three straight times and the Steelers ran out the clock with two first downs.

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