In a Steelers season full of unlikely heroes, Chris Boswell and Landry Jones may least likely of them all.
Jones came on in relief of the injured Mike Vick and Boswell connected on four field goals to lead the Steelers to a 25-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at Heinz Field.
Coming in with 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter after Vick suffered a hamstring injury, Jones sparked the offense, finishing his first drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Martavis Bryant in the back of the end zone.
Jones, the Steelers fourth-round pick in 2013, finished with eight completions on 12 attempts for 168 yards and two touchdowns in the first game appearance of his three-year career.
Boswell connected with second-half field goals of 48, 51, 28 yards to go along with his 47-yarder in the first half. Boswell, who is the Steelers fourth kicker this season, was unfazed by the close game and the weather, which alternated between moments of sunshine and a freezing drizzle.
The Steelers defense stepped up in a big way to keep the team in the game while the offense struggled to get untracked. Lawrence Timmons and Mike Mitchell both had interceptions and James Harrison forced a fumble that the Steelers were able to recover, all of which helped limit the Cardinals to just one touchdown despite 469 yards of total offense.
Late in the fourth quarter, Jones and Bryant connected again to seal the victory. After Mitchell’s interception, the Steelers had the ball at their own 10-yard line.
A two-yard handoff to Le’Veon Bell was snuffed out by the Cardinals defense. It was tough sledding most of the day for Bell, who finished with 88 yards on 24 carries.
With Arizona stacking the line in anticipation of another handoff, Jones found Bryant on an eight-yard slant. Bryant turned up the field and turned on the afterburners, running 80 yards through the Cardinals secondary for his second touchdown in his first game back in the Steelers lineup. Bryant missed four games while serving a suspension and was out with a knee injury last Monday.
In addition to Vick, the Steelers played most of the game without starting left tackle Kelvin Beachum, who was carted off the field with a left knee injury and did not return. He was replaced by first-year player Alejandro Villanueva. Defensive end Stefon Tuitt also suffered a knee injury.
With the win, the Steelers moved to 4-2 on the season. They’ll travel to Kansas City next Sunday to take on the 1-5 Chiefs.
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