Steelers safety Mink Fitzpatrick scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 43-yard fumble return near the end of the third quarter during the triumph Sunday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. T.J. Watt collected two sacks and a forced fumble in the win.
"We are playing with a lot of [confidence]," Fitzpatrick told reporters. "We have a talented one-on-one defense. We have older guys that lead as well. We execute very well from a coaching standpoint. So, we will keep on going out there and building confidence and keep getting better."
The Steelers (5-4) held the Rams (5-4) without an offensive touchdown in the win. The Rams converted just one of their 13 third down opportunities.
"We had some self-inflicted wounds, some penalties," Rams coach Sean McVay said. "I think it was a collaboration of everybody can be better, and we have to go back and look at the tape, and that's something that we're going to do. We have to be better for our team."
The Rams took a 7-0 lead after the Steelers fumbled on the game's opening drive. Dante Fowler recovered the fumble and returned it for a 26-yard touchdown. The Rams and Steelers exchanged punts twice before the Steelers tied the game. Quarterback Mason Rudolph threw a three-yard touchdown pass to James Washington to make the score 7-7 with 40 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Neither offense could move the ball in the second quarter. Javon Hargrave got to Rams quarterback Jared Goff for a sack 1:56 before halftime. Goff fumbled and the ball bounced up to Fitzpatrick, who rumbled in for a touchdown to give the Steelers a seven-point lead at the break.
Goff was intercepted on the Rams' first two drives of the second half. Greg Zuerlein made a 30-yard field goal at the end of the third quarter for the Rams. Rudolph was sacked in the end zone on the fourth quarter, making the score 14-12. Chris Boswell made a 33-yard kick on the Steelers' next drive, pushing the lead to five points and making the score final.
Rudolph completed 22 of 38 passes for 242 yards and a score for Pittsburgh. Washington had 90 yards and a score on six catches. Todd Gurley had 73 yards on 12 carries in the loss. Goff completed 22 of 41 passes for 243 yards and two interceptions. Punter Johnny Hekker also tossed an interception for the Rams.
"That was mean, but it was required," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "You have to give their defense credit, too. We didn't do much on the offensive side. It was one of those hard, defensive battles and maybe a play or two in [special] teams were going to be the difference. I thought we stood up in that area."
The Rams host the Chicago Bears at 8:20 p.m. EST Sunday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Steelers battle the Cleveland Browns in an AFC North division clash at 8:20 p.m. Thursday at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.