Watch: Johnson’s TD catch drought ends with game-winner
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The long drought of touchdown receptions for Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Diontae Johnson is finally over! Against the Tennessee Titans, the veteran receiver was able to slip into the end zone and grab a perfectly-placed pass from quarterback Kenny Pickett for the game-winning score and redemption.
The Steelers offense wasn’t off-the-page exciting in NFL Week 9, but there was a renewed balance with offensive coordinator Matt Canada on the sideline instead of hovering in the booth. Whether perspective played a factor into the improvements in the second half of the game or not, the comeback drive was what Pittsburgh needed to get some confidence back.
Down 16-13 at Acrisure Stadium, the Steelers defense keeping the game manageable, the Steelers lined up for 1st & 10 at their own 8-yard line with just 9:13 left in the fourth quarter. Marching down the field with the help of runs by Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren interspersed with a pass to Miles Boykin and a deep pass to Johnson, the Steelers found the end zone on the twelfth play of the drive.
Thanks to a defensive holding penalty by Tennessee, the incomplete pass by Pickett to Johnson gave Pittsburgh a new set of downs at the Titans 3-yard line. Pickett was able to return to Johnson on a short pass to the right for the go-ahead score.
Johnson was elated as he celebrated with his teammates. The last time he’d caught a touchdown pass, Ben Roethlisberger had thrown it. Not only did his TD drought end, but the Steelers defense would keep the Titans from scoring, making Johnson’s catch the difference-making scoring play of the victory.
“655 days since I scored… I was happy I was there to get into the end zone,” Johnson said in the post-game press conference and then talked about his reactions after the touchdown. “I was just tryin’ to get hype with my teammates… tryin’ to show love.”