Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (pictured) celebrates a sack of Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields on Monday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 9 (UPI) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers held off a late rally, with Chris Boswell making a 40-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining to beat the Chicago Bears in the final Week 9 game of the 2021 NFL season.
The Steelers led by 14 points two different times in the 29-27 victory Monday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The Bears used a 21-point fourth quarter to take a late lead. Bears kicker Cairo Santos was well short on a 65-yard attempt as time expired, resulting in the loss.
"A win is a win," Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt, who totaled three sacks, told reporters. "It was draining and a long game. I'll take a win.
"We gotta get Heinz Field going crazy again next week."
The Bears outgained the Steelers 414 to 280 in total yards, but totaled two turnovers compared to the Steelers' one giveaway. The Bears also totaled 12 penalties for 115 yards and lost the time of possession battle by nearly nine minutes.
"We had it all the way right? That's just the nature of this thing," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "It's the NFL, you are going to be in battles.
"The most important thing is that you smile in the face of adversity and deliver the necessary plays."
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 21 of 30 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns. He threw both scores to tight end Pat Freiermuth.
Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields completed 17 of 29 passes for 291 yards, one score and one interception.
"Losing the game was tough," Bears coach Matt Nagy told reporters. "Too many penalties. ... We can't have that. We had to get more points in the first half. In the second half, the defense played better."
The Steelers took a 7-0 lead when rookie running back Najee Harris ran for a 10-yard score 5:18 into the game.
Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward intercepted Fields with 2:03 left in the first quarter. The Steelers turned the turnover into points with a 9-play, 36-yard touchdown drive.
Roethlisberger threw a 4-yard touchdown toss to Freiermuth to end that possession. Santos made a 30-yard kick with 15 seconds left in the second quarter to make the score 14-3 at halftime.
Santos made a 22-yard kick on the Bears' first drive of the second half. The Steelers pushed their advantage back to 14 points with a 9-play, 75-yard drive on the next possession. Freiermuth caught a 10-yard pass from Roethlisberger to end that drive and make the score 20-6.
Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney scored on a 15-yard run 43 seconds into the fourth quarter. Boswell made a 54-yard field goal on the Steelers next drive.
The Bears punted midway through the fourth quarter. Steelers returner Ray-Ray McCloud fumbled on the return.
Bears defensive back DeAndre Houston-Carson scooped the loose ball off the ground and returned the fumble for a 25-yard touchdown, cutting the Steelers lead to 23-20.
Boswell made a 52-yard kick with 2:52 remaining to give the Steelers a six-point edge. The Bears responded with a 7-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Fields threw a 16-yard pass to Mooney for that score, giving the Bears a 27-26 lead with 1:46 remaining.
The Steelers answered with a 7-play, 52-yard drive, taking the ball from their own 25-yard line to the Bears 23-yard line. Boswell split the uprights with his 40-yard, go-ahead kick.
Fields took the Bears from their own 25-yard line to the Steelers 47-yard line on the game's final possession. Santos smacked his long distance attempt, but the kick fell well short of the goal posts.
The Steelers (5-3) host the Detroit Lions (0-8) at 1 p.m. EST Sunday at Heinz Field. The Bears (3-6) get a Week 10 bye and host the Baltimore Ravens (6-2) at 1 p.m. EST Nov. 21 at Soldier Field in Chicago.