The Washington Football Team pulled off the biggest upset of the 2020 NFL season on Monday night. Ron Rivera’s club downed the undefeated Steelers 23-17, dashing Pittsburgh’s hopes at a perfect season.
Led by Alex Smith, Washington led a daring second-half come back to knock off the Steelers. Pittsburgh led 14-3 at halftime and had dominated in every aspect of the game.
But Smith came out with a fervor in the second-half. Washington scored a touchdown in the third quarter and trailed by only seven with 14:57 to play. Then, Smith drove the offense down the field twice, scoring the tying touchdown with a gorgeous touchdown pass before eventually leading the team to a go-ahead field goal with 2:07 left in the contest.
The defense closed out the game, stifling Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ talented wide receivers. Washington linebacker Jon Bostic intercepted a tipped pass with two minutes to go, clinching the win for Rivera and The Football Team. Dustin Hopkins tacked on another field goal to close out the six-point victory.
Take a look at some the reactions to the Steelers loss from around NFL Twitter:
UNREALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL. WASHINGTON ENDS PITTSBURGH'S UNDEFEATED DREAMS IN PITTSBURGH. WHO KNEW.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) December 8, 2020
Steelers might have opened the door 👀
— Flash Garrett ⚡️ (@MylesLGarrett) December 8, 2020
Eagles beat 49ers earlier in the season in SF
Giants beat Seahawks yesterday in Seattle
Washington about to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh
— Ramblin' Fan (@RamblinFan) December 8, 2020
NFC East: pic.twitter.com/0ASgadyDf6
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 8, 2020
Great performance by Washington today in Pittsburgh. Down 14-0, to come back and be in this position. Fantastic. Defense is legit. #HTTWFT
— Moose™ (@MarcMalusis) December 8, 2020
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 8, 2020
1972 Dolphins safe, again. 🍾
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 8, 2020
Washington moved to 5-7 with the win and back into a tie for first place in the NFC East. Thanks to Smith playing at a high level and one of the league’s strongest defenses, Rivera’s team remains in contention for a playoff berth. With games against the 49ers, Seahawks, Panthers and Eagles remaining, Washington might just win the division.
For the Steelers, the chance for a perfect season has come and gone. The team already felt disrespected by the media coverage, but tomorrow will be even worse after a loss as a heavy favorite.
However, the loss doesn’t spell disaster for Tomlin and Pittsburgh. The Steelers remain atop the AFC standings and still sit in the driver’s seat in the North division.
Now, Pittsburgh will have to stave off Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs for the one seed and the coveted playoff bye.