2023 Steelers Season Recall: Pittsburgh tops LA Rams following week of rest

Steel City Underground presents our 2023 Steelers Recall: A Look Back at Pittsburgh Steelers games and storylines from last season.

Following a bye week, the Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to SoFi Stadium during Week 7 of the 2023 NFL regular season to face a 3-3 Los Angeles Rams team who were also still trying to find their way as a team. The Steelers, who sat at 3-2 after beating the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5, found their mojo when a second-half surge powered them to a come-from-behind 27-17 win.

Both teams played tough defense as their offenses tried to find a rhythm in the first half, but it was the Steelers who were able to find the end zone at the opportune moments in the final half to take their second consecutive win.

However, the week still didn’t start that way. The Steelers entered the away matchup as an underdog. The Rams were favorites at -1. The game had an over/under of 43.5 points, which if you took the over, you would’ve just edged out with a win, much like the photo finish races you can wager on at TwinSpires.com.

Embed from Getty Images

The first half of the game was ugly football on both sides to start. The Steelers first half possessions ended with four punts, a field goal and a kneel-down to end the second quarter. Pittsburgh lucked out, as Rams kicker Brett Maher missed a field goal and an extra point, leaving the Rams up 9-6 at half.

Pittsburgh’s first half stats were paltry. They ran for 29 yards. (As opposed to 79 by the Rams makeshift due of Darrell Henderson and Royce Freeman.) Kenny Pickett went 6-of-13 for 78 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions while Matt Stafford went 9-of-16 for 159 yards and a touchdown.

It was another one of those games that made you wonder if the Steelers could figure things out at halftime. Fortunately, the Matt Canada led offense woke up and started running the ball effectively in the third quarter.

Embed from Getty Images

The Steelers would land three rushing touchdowns in the second half, scored by RB Najee Harris, RB Jaylen Warren, and QB Kenny Pickett. It was the first rushing touchdown for all three players this season – and the only rushing touchdowns the entire team had scored so far in 2023. Yes, this was Week 7: the Steelers didn’t have a touchdown scored on the ground through their first five games…

Another stat that could sneak up on fans was WR George Pickens stacking back-to-back 100-yard receiving games by posting a 5-catch 107-yard performance against LA. Pickens now had three 100-yard receiving games out of six played through 2023, after the Steelers only had a single 100-yard receiving game last season. (Which, by the way, was also by George Pickens.)

Despite the better running in the second half, the Steelers still failed to gain at last 100 yards on the ground, and Pickett still went without a touchdown pass. Yet, somehow, the team was able to put together 21 second half points while neutralizing All-Pro threats WR Cooper Kupp and DT Aaron Donald of the Rams. The defense held Kupp to 2 receptions (on 7 targets) for 29 yards while Donald failed to register a sack or even a solo tackle.

Embed from Getty Images

The man of the hour, as usual, was T.J. Watt. Going hand-to-hand against the Los Angeles offensive line and other blockers thrown at him down after down couldn’t keep Watt from continuing to be disruptive. Watt had another highlight reel play when he was able to step back into coverage and jump into a passing route to grab a Matthew Stafford throw for his first interception this season and seventh of his career.


That play opened the third quarter for the Rams and it was all Steelers from there. Pittsburgh would Score three plays later starting from the LA 7-yard line. While the Rams answered on their next possession, another Maher miss helped the Steelers respond with back-to-back touchdown drives. The last of those drives was a 10-play, 90-yard series, while the Rams were forced to punt on their next two possessions.

Kenny Pickett was near flawless at the end, as the Steelers executed another 10-play drive, this time burning the final 5:28 remaining on the clock to secure the win.

The AFC North remained a tight race as the Steelers moved to 4-2. The Baltimore Ravens (5-2) and Cleveland Browns (4-2) also won their games while the Cincinnati Bengals (3-3) were taking their bye. This would set the Steelers up for a nice three-game home stand beginning in Week 8 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Check back next week as we revisit that game in our weekly Recall series.

Suggested articles from our sponsors