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Jacksonville at Pittsburgh

Steelers miss Roethlisberger, fall to Jags in OT

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Between the formation and Tommy Maddox's eyes, Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis knew the ball was coming his way.

If this had been Ben Roethlisberger throwing to Hines Ward, it might not have mattered. But the Steelers were running the play with Maddox and Quincy Morgan, and that was the difference Sunday.

Mathis stepped in front of Maddox's pass and scored on a 41-yard return in overtime and the Jaguars, taking advantage of four turnovers by Pittsburgh's backup quarterback, rallied to upset the injury-thinned Steelers 23-17 Sunday.

For the Jaguars, it was proof they belong among the NFL's elite.

"I think we showed we're one of the toughest teams in the league," Mathis said. "This is huge. This is a statement game around the league about us."

The Steelers (3-2), losing their second straight at home but only their third overall in 21 regular season games, were in position to win it following Morgan's 71-yard kickoff return to start the overtime. But Maddox fumbled the ball away at the 27 with Jeff Reed readying to attempt a game-winning field goal on the next play.

"We've got a saying around here: 'Don't blink because you never know what's going to happen,"' Mathis said. "We didn't blink, we stopped them and then a big play happened for us."

After the Jaguars punted, Maddox looked to his left, then went back to his right to try to find Morgan on a second-and-10 play from the Steelers' 35, but Mathis cut in front for his first career interception return touchdown.

Maddox, starting for the injured Roethlisberger, threw three interceptions while going 11-of-28 for 154 yards in his second start in 13 months.

"They ran the same route on the same formation before so I knew what I was getting," Mathis said.

The Jaguars (4-2) took away the pass and a Steelers running game that was largely responsible for a 24-22 win in San Diego on Monday, limiting Pittsburgh to 73 yards and a 2.4 average. Jerome Bettis, who came off the bench for 54 yards and a touchdown Monday, had four yards on four carries and Willie Parker was held to 55 yards on 21 carries.

Maddox, booed much of the game, was intercepted twice on Pittsburgh's first three possessions, and the Jaguars turned the second pickoff into Greg Jones' 7-yard TD run and a 7-0 lead. Jones ran for 77 yards while subbing for the injured Fred Taylor (ankle).

Steelers coach Bill Cowher considered pulling Maddox for Charlie Batch, but didn't because Batch has played only a handful of downs since 2001. Asked if Maddox had a bad day, Cowher said, "I think that's an obvious statement."

Maddox disputed that, saying wind gusts of 25 mph disrupted the throws of both quarterbacks. Jacksonville's Byron Leftwich was 19 of 35 for 177 yards and was intercepted in the end zone in the final minute of regulation, preventing a possible game-winning field goal try.

While the Steelers did almost nothing offensively, they stayed in the game by scoring twice in a 62-second span of the second quarter. Maddox found rookie Heath Miller on a 15-yard scoring pass, and Antwaan Randle El followed a 72-yard punt return touchdown to put the Steelers up 14-7.

The Jaguars felt they should have won it before overtime. They passed up three sure points when coach Jack Del Rio chose to go for it on a fourth-and-2 from the Pittsburgh 22 and Jones lost a yard. Fullback Derrick Wimbush dropped an apparent touchdown pass while wide open. And the Jaguars settled for a Josh Scobee 23-yard field goal to end the first half after having a first-and-goal at the Steelers 1.

Notes

  • Ward (hamstring) had played in 116 consecutive games since his rookie season.
  • Until Sunday, the Steelers hadn't had a pass intercepted all season.
  • The Jaguars had lost their last three to the Steelers, but have won three of four in Pittsburgh.
  • Jaguars WR Jimmy Smith made three catches, moving into a 10th place tie with Shannon Sharpe for career catches with 815.
  • The Steelers' Chris Gardocki's 9-yard punt in the second quarter was deflected by Mathis. Because the punt traveled beyond the line of scrimmage, it does not affect Gardocki's streak of 1,066 punts without a block.
  • The Steelers have lost three of their last four at home, counting losses to New England in the AFC title game in January and again on Sept. 25.
  • Steelers CB Deshea Townsend (hamstring) left in the first half and did not return. Bryant McFadden replaced him and made his first career interception.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Tommy Maddox's day is a disaster with four turnovers, including the game-loser in OT.
 
Tommy Maddox's day is a disaster with four turnovers, including the game-loser in OT. (Getty Images)
 

 

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Sun. Oct. 16Final OT
OT
7370623
01403017
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDGreg Jones, 7 Yd run (Josh Scobee kick is good), 1:12. Drive: 1 play, 7 yards in 0:07.
2ND QUARTER
TDHeath Miller, 15 Yd pass from Tommy Maddox (Jeff Reed kick is good), 14:52. Drive: 4 plays, 65 yards in 1:20.
TDAntwaan Randle El, 72 Yd punt return (Jeff Reed kick is good), 13:50.
FGJosh Scobee 23 Yd, 0:00. Drive: 6 plays, 10 yards in 1:43.
3RD QUARTER
TDMatt Jones, 10 Yd pass from Byron Leftwich (Josh Scobee kick is good), 11:46. Drive: 6 plays, 71 yards in 3:14.
4TH QUARTER
FGJeff Reed 29 Yd, 9:38. Drive: 11 plays, 69 yards in 5:14.
OT
TDRashean Mathis, 41 Yd interception return, 11:24.
Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

H. Miller
Rec 4
Yds 72
Avg 18.0
TD 1
Detroit

R. Mathis
Tk 3
Sck 0.0
Int 1
Fumb Rec 0
 
Jacksonville
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
B. Leftwich19/3517711
RushingATTYDSTDLG
G. Jones1877125
A. Pearman152208
B. Leftwich1101
M. Jones1-70-7
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
R. Williams350041
A. Pearman535011
J. Smith332018
M. Jones220110
K. Brady31508
E. Wilford215010
G. Jones110010
Pittsburgh
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
T. Maddox11/2815413
RushingATTYDSTDLG
W. Parker2155012
T. Maddox315016
J. Bettis4402
V. Haynes2-102
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
H. Miller472127
Q. Morgan233026
A. Randle El327012
V. Haynes111011
C. Wilson111011
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
HOU 10 Final
SEA 42
SD 27 Final
OAK 14
NE 20 Final
DEN 28
NYJ 17 Final
BUF 27
CIN 31 Final
TEN 23
MIA 13 Final
TB 27
ATL 34 Final
NO 31
WAS 21 Final
KC 28
CAR 21 Final
DET 20
NYG 13 Final
DAL 16
MIN 3 Final
CHI 28
STL 28 Final
IND 45
CLE 3 Final
BAL 16