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Steelers special teams provide splash plays in win vs. Falcons

October 12, 2018

A Chris Boswell missed extra point was the only blemish on what was a stellar Sunday for the Pittsburgh Steelers special teams.

Boswell’s third miss of the season cost the team a point, but the special teams essentially gave that back and a lot more with two big plays that led to touchdowns during a 41-17 win against the Falcons:

• A perfect sand wedge of a fourth-quarter punt from the Atlanta 39 by Jordan Berry was downed at the Falcons 2 by Brian Allen. The Steelers defense scored on a strip-sack three plays later.

• A third-quarter blocked punt by Roosevelt Nix set the offense up deep in Atlanta territory at the 18-yard line. The Steelers scored three plays later.

“Whenever you have blocks on special teams,” center Maurkice Pouncey said, “most of the time you win the football game.”

Those were the highlights for the special teams Sunday, but they were not the only positives:

• Berry’s other two punts, each coming from Steelers territory, were boomed 51 and 55 yards. Atlanta’s two punt returns totaled 3 yards.

• Five of Boswell’s seven kickoffs were touchbacks, and the two that weren’t were covered well enough that the Falcons started inside their 25.

Overall, it was a good bounceback game for a unit that struggled with poor punting and kicking, lackluster returns and an abundance of penalties over the first quarter of the season.

“We’ve got a unique veteran group in terms of some of our core special teams players,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “Guys like Rosie, guys like Tyler (Matakevich), (L.J.) Fort and others. That band has been together for some time, so I think it’s reasonable to expect splash plays from them, but that doesn’t mean we appreciate it any less.”

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