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Monday, Oct 22, 2018
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Live blog: Bucs rally falls short in 30-27 loss to Steelers

Bucs’ magic wears off in Monday night loss to Steelers

Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) slides while being pursued by Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers Vince Williams (98), right, and Bud Dupree (48). [JIM DAMASKE | Times]

TAMPA — Ryan Fitzpatrick’s magic seemed to wear off against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he had enough tricks to make it interesting.

Fitzpatrick was intercepted on three consecutive passes in the first half to fall behind by 20 points.

But the Bucs veteran quarterback rallied the Bucs to within a field goal with touchdown passes to Chris Godwin and Mike Evans in the second half.

Unfortunately, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was better, completing 30-of-38 passes for 353 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in a 30-27 win over the Bucs.

Read Rick Stroud’s full story here.

Fourth quarter

Steelers in the Victory Formation following Conner’s big gain and will run out the clock from here.

There’s that James Conner guy again, squirting free for 17 yards and a first down at the Bucs 33.

Steelers force a punt, and Pittsburgh is back on the move as we near the 2-minute warning.

Jordan Berry’s punt downed at the Bucs 1, but Steelers penalized for an illegal shift, and Pittsburgh will re-kick. The second punt goes into the end zone.

Antonio Brown looks inside, Roethlisberger throws outside on a deep pattern, and the Steelers are forced to punt.

Lavonte David pushes Ryan Switzer out of bounds at the 36, setting up 3rd-and-9.

Roethlisberger sneaks up the middle for the first down.

Conner picks up 9 more to the Bucs 38.

Pittsburgh comes right back, as James Conner rushes 27 yards into Bucs territory.

And we’ve got ourselves a ballgame! Fitzpatrick connects with Evans on a double move, and the Bucs have trimmed the Steelers lead to 30-27.

O.J. Howard picks up 16 yards to the Steelers 24.

Fitzpatrick throws into the end zone for Mike Evans, but Evans' feet get tangled with a Pittsburgh defensive back.

Fitzpatrick races 17 yards up the middle for a first down at the Steelers 40.

Fitzpatrick hits O.J. Howard for a first down to the 31, then Jackson for 12 yards and another first down.

That blur you just saw was DeSean Jackson returning Jordan Berry’s punt 83 yards for a touchdown. But the score is nullified by a holding penalty on Isaiah Johnson. Bucs will start at their 8-yard line.

Roethlisberger throws incomplete, as Jason Pierre-Paul applies pressure.

Roethlisberger’s pass for Antonio Brown just out of reach near midfield, setting up 3rd-and-11.

Big play! A leaping Chris Godwin pulls in Fitzpatrick’s pass at the back of the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown. Bucs now trail 30-20 with 11:06 left.

Humphries slips as he comes out of his cut, and Fitzpatrick’s pass falls incomplete.

Fitzpatrick hits Rodgers underneath, and the Bucs running back scampers for a first down at the 6.

Fitzpatrick throws deep to Mike Evans, but Evans slips.

Fitzpatrick pulls away from Bud Dupree and hits O.J. Howard on the run for a first down at the 17.

Fitzpatrick finds Cameron Brate for 9 yards, giving the Bucs a first down at the Steelers 33. Pittsburgh penalized for 12 men in the formation.

Fitzpatrick throws underneath to Jacquizz Rodgers, who is stopped after a seven-yard gain on 3rd-and 13. Bucs facing 4th-and-7.

Third quarter

Fitzpatrick looks deep for Jackson, but his pass is overthrown. Bucs penalized for a chop block, costing them 15 yards.

Fitzpatrick, on the fun, finds DeSean Jackson just past midfield.

Chris Boswell, who missed a PAT earlier in the game, fails to convert a field-goal attempt.

Jason Pierre-Paul forces a Roethlisberger, but it’s recovered by Steelers lineman B.J. Finney.

Jesse James reception sets up 3rd-and-3 from the 28.

James Washington pulls in a Roethlisberger pass on 3rd-and-4 for a first down at the Bucs 34.

Roethlisberger, on the run, finds Smith-Schuster open over the middle for another first down near midfield.

Smith-Schuster with a short catch to give the Steelers a first down at their 36.

Catanzaro good from 28 yards, and the Bucs trail 30-13.

Fitzpatrick fires for Godwin at the goal line, but the pass is batted around, and nearly intercepted, before falling incomplete.

Shaun Wilson takes a pass out of the backfield, and it’s 3rd-and-goal from the 10.

Fitzpatrick tries to extend the play, but sacked by Bud Dupree at the 15.

Adam Humphries takes the ball 17 yards down to the Steelers 6.

Godwin, on fire now, takes a quick screen 20 yards on 3rd-and-18 to the Pittsburgh 26.

Oof. Jon Bostic sacks Fitzpatrick, pushing the Bucs back into their own territory.

Upon review, the ruling on the field is reversed, and Godwin is ruled down by contact at the Steelers 39. Looking closely at the replay, Godwin’s right foot appears to hit Mike Hilton’s shoulder as he’s going down.

Does he or doesn’t he? Chris Godwin makes a diving catch over the middle, then, appearing to be untouched, gets up and races into the end zone to complete a 56-yard touchdown play. We think.

A Mike Evans reception moves the ball to midfield, but a couple of pre-snap penalties back the Bucs up 10 yards.

DeSean Jackson gets his first reception on just his second target of the game, for 7 yards.

Halftime

Second quarter

Roethlisberger hits Ryan Switzer for the touchdown, and any momentum the Bucs picked up with their field goal is eradicated. Steelers go up 30-10 with 6 seconds left in the half.

Carlton Davis flagged for interference on Antonio Brown in the end zone, advancing the ball to the Bucs 1.

Smith-Schuster takes it to the 2 with 17 seconds remaining in the half.

James Washington reception moves the ball to the 17.

Steelers quickly advance to midfield on James Conner’s 18-yard reception.

The Bucs pull to within 23-10 on Chandler Catanzaro’s 21-yard field goal with 1:15 remaining in the half.

Godwin having a rough night. Fitzpatrick finds him in the back of the end zone for an apparent touchdown on third down, but the receiver is unable to hang on.

Wow! Fitzpatrick hits a heavily covered Mike Evans down the left sideline, and the 51-yard gain moves the ball to the Steelers 6.

Steelers safety Sean Davis penalized for — sound familiar? — roughing the passer.

Pick Six! Bud Dupree picks off Fitzpatrick at the 10 and returns it for a Pittsburgh touchdown. Steelers lead 23-6 with 2:50 to play in the half.

Steelers punt, and Darrius Heyward-Bey downs the ball at the Bucs 2.

Vinny Curry forces Roethlisberger to step up in the pocket, and Jason Pierre-Paul wraps him up for the Bucs' second sack in three plays.

Ugh. Mike Evans pulls up on his route, and Fitzpatrick’s pass sails over his head. Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds intercepts and returns the ball to the Bucs 35.

Bucs benefit from a roughing the passer penalty, as Stephon Tuitt is flagged.

Carlton Davis takes down Antonio Brown short of the first down, and the Steelers are forced to punt.

Roethlisberger throws incomplete deep for JuJu Smith-Schuster, but Jason Pierre-Paul penalized for roughing the passer. Ball moves out to the Steelers 23.

Yikes! Jon Bostic bats a Fitzpatrick pass into the air, and Mike Hilton pulls it in for a Pittsburgh interception just outside the 5.

Wow! Somehow, Godwin pulls in a Fitzpatrick pass with Coty Sensabaugh in his face for a first down at the 12.

Fitzpatrick hits Humphries on a quick slant, setting up 3rd-and-14.

Fitzpatrick throws short of an open O.J. Howard a few yards short of the first-down sticks.

Holding penalty on Ryan Jensen pushes the Bucs back to the 38.

Fitzpatrick hits Mike Evans in stride over the middle. Tack on a late hit penalty on Sean Davis, and the Bucs have a first down at the Steelers 28.

Nat Berhe called for a facemask penalty, and the Bucs take over at their 30.

And just like that, the Steelers make the Bucs pay. Antonio Brown takes a short pass, make Brent Grimes miss, and goes 27 yards for a touchdown. The Steelers extend their lead to 16-7.

Chris Godwin appears to have a first-down catch, but Artie Burns forces a fumble with his helmet, and Mike Hilton recovers for the Steelers in Bucs territory.

Chris Boswell converts, and the Steelers take their first lead of the game, 9-7.

Roethlisberger checks down to James Conner on 3rd-and-13, and the Steelers will attempt a 38-yard field goal.

Roethlisberger throws out of the end zone. Bucs defensive back Isaiah Johnson collides with the wall but walks off under his own power.

Roethlisberger finds McDonald for 12 yards on 3rd-and-11. Steelers set up at the Bucs 23.

First quarter

From his own end zone, Ben Roethlisberger hits JuJu Smith-Schuster for 44 yards out to midfield. Gerald McCoy called for roughing the passer, adding another 15 yards to the play, moving the ball to the Bucs 34.

Ouch. Tampa native Anthony Chickillo sacks Ryan Fitzpatrick on third down, taking the Bucs out of field-goal range.

Looked like O.J. Howard might have had another big gain over the middle, but Jon Bostic breaks up the pass.

Fitzpatrick hits an open Cameron Brate over the middle, moving the ball inside the Pittsburgh 30.

O.J. Howard slips a tackle and picks up a first down at midfield.

Jon Bostic hits a sliding Ryan Fitzpatrick, giving the Bucs an extra 15 yards.

Uh-oh. Steelers tight end Vance McDonald catches a corner route, then overpowers Bucs safety Chris Conte with a stiff-arm en route to a 75-yard touchdown. Chris Boswell hits the upright on the extra-point try, keeping the Bucs ahead, 7-6.

Fitzpatrick finds Cameron Brate in the back of the end zone, and just like that, it’s Bucs 7, Steelers 0.

Wow! Peyton Barber EXPLODES up the middle for 18 yards to the Pittsburgh 4.

Bucs pick up 13 more yards on a crossing pattern to O.J. Howard.

Fitzpatrick quickly hits Mike Evans for 15 yards to the Steelers' 39.

Justin Evans makes a nice pick along the sideline, and the Bucs regain possession near midfield.

Shallow cross to Vance McDonald picks up another 14 yards.

Ben Roethlisberger checks down to James Conner for 10 yards and a first down.

Fitzpatrick hits Chris Godwin for what would have been a first down, but Joe Haden jars the ball loose, forcing the Bucs to punt.

Ryan Fitzpatrick throws short of an open Mike Evans on 2nd-and-8.

Bucs hold the Steelers on downs on their opening possession.

Pregame reading

DeSean Jackson is ready to once again own Monday night

Tony Dungy: The wise man who learns from everybody

Thomas Bassinger: Where is Ronald Jones? | Staff picks

How Booger McFarland rose from a Tampa station to Monday Night Football

Booger McFarland on Ryan Fitzpatrick: Play the guy with the hot hand

Fitzpatrick said his only goal was to go 3-0 while Winston was suspended

Countdown to kickoff


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