Steelers bottle up Rams, continue surge as AFC playoff hopeful

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USA TODAY

PITTSBURGH – It figured that to spring another upset on their home turf, the Pittsburgh Steelers would need to put it in the hands of their big-play defense.

Done.

Minkah Fitzpatrick picked off Jared Goff with 20 seconds left to preserve a 17-12 victory against the Rams that pushed Pittsburgh (5-4) above .500 for the first time this season.

Fitzpatrick and his teammates collected four takeaways against the defending NFC champion Rams (5-4), and it has become a way of life for a unit carrying an injury-depleted offense. During Pittsburgh’s four-game winning streak, the defense has produced 14 takeaways.

Four more things we learned from the Steelers’ victory at Heinz Field:

1. Jared Goff is regressing: After lighting up the Bengals’ inept defense in London in his last outing, the Rams quarterback came back with his lowest-rated passing game of the season (51.2). Sure, pressure from Pittsburgh’s defense had much influence, but Goff generally couldn’t come with the clutch throws when needed, as the Rams’ 1-for-14 measure on third downs indicates. And Goff never led the Rams to the end zone.

2. You can only hope to…

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