2019 Pittsburgh Steelers season
|2019 Pittsburgh Steelers season|
|Head coach||Mike Tomlin|
|General manager||Kevin Colbert|
|Owner||The Rooney Family|
|Home field||Heinz Field|
|Division place||2nd AFC North|
The 2019 season is the Pittsburgh Steelers' 87th as a professional sports franchise and as a member of the National Football League. It will also mark the 20th season under leadership of general manager Kevin Colbert and the 13th under head coach Mike Tomlin. The team is looking to improve upon its 9–6–1 record from 2018.
- 1 Roster moves
- 2 Staff
- 3 Current roster
- 4 Preseason
- 5 Regular season
- 5.1 Schedule
- 5.2 Game summaries
- 5.2.1 Week 1: at New England Patriots
- 5.2.2 Week 2: vs. Seattle Seahawks
- 5.2.3 Week 3: at San Francisco 49ers
- 5.2.4 Week 4: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
- 5.2.5 Week 5: vs. Baltimore Ravens
- 5.2.6 Week 6: at Los Angeles Chargers
- 5.2.7 Week 8: vs. Miami Dolphins
- 5.2.8 Week 9: vs. Indianapolis Colts
- 5.2.9 Week 10: vs. Los Angeles Rams
- 5.2.10 Week 11: at Cleveland Browns
- 5.3 Standings
- 6 Transactions
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Several players who played significant roles in the Steelers' recent success will not return for 2019. Among the departed were:
- Offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert, traded to the Arizona Cardinals on March 8, 2019 for the Cardinals compensatory 6th round pick, used on Ulysees Gilbert III.
- Wide receiver Antonio Brown, traded to the Oakland Raiders on March 9, 2019 for the Raiders 3rd and 5th round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, used to select Diontae Johnson and Zach Gentry, respectively.
- Running back Le'Veon Bell, who signed with the New York Jets on March 13, 2019.
- Tight end Jesse James, who signed with the Detroit Lions on March 14, 2019.
Several of these moves were made in the name of eliminating "distractions", namely from Brown and Bell. Brown had several clashes with the coaching staff, sports media and teammates (most notably Ben Roethlisberger and JuJu Smith-Schuster) and was subsequently benched in the Steelers season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals, which led to Brown demanding a trade. Bell had been tagged with the franchise tag the previous two seasons and sat out the 2018 season; the Steelers opted not to tag him for a third time due to salary cap constraints as well as the emergence of fan favorite James Conner and Bell subsequently signed with the Jets for less than what the Steelers had offered him. Gilbert was injured for much of 2018 and was made expendable due to the emergence of Matt Feiler in his spot. James, initially groomed to be the heir replacement to Heath Miller, ultimately remained a backup after the Steelers traded for Vance McDonald.
In addition to the players traded away and cut, Ryan Shazier remained out due to his 2017 spinal injury against the Bengals. After struggling to fill his role during the 2018 campaign, the Steelers addressed his long-term absence by going to the other side of the Michigan–Ohio State football rivalry by trading up in the 2019 draft to draft Michigan linebacker Devin Bush Jr. Shazier was subsequently placed on the reserve/PUP list for the 2019 season.
|1||10||Devin Bush||ILB||Michigan||from Denver|
|3||66||Diontae Johnson||WR||Toledo||from Oakland|
|83||Justin Layne||CB||Michigan State|
|5||141||Zach Gentry||TE||Michigan||from Oakland|
|6||175||Sutton Smith||OLB||Northern Illinois||from Oakland|
|207||Ulysees Gilbert III||ILB||Akron||from Arizona|
|7||219||Derwin Gray||OT||Maryland||from Tampa Bay|
- Pittsburgh traded their 2019 fifth-round selection to Oakland in exchange for wide receiver Ryan Switzer and Oakland's sixth-round selection.
- Pittsburgh traded their 2019 seventh-round selection and wide receiver Sammie Coates to Cleveland in exchange for Cleveland's 2018 sixth-round selection that originally belonged to Pittsburgh.
- Pittsburgh traded their 2018 sixth-round selection to Tampa Bay in exchange for their 2019 seventh-round selection and free safety J. J. Wilcox.
- Pittsburgh traded right tackle Marcus Gilbert to Arizona in exchange for a 2019 sixth-round compensatory selection.
- Pittsburgh traded wide receiver Antonio Brown to Oakland in exchange for Oakland's third round selection and their fifth-round selection.
Undrafted free agents
|= Made Week 1 roster|
|S||Dravon Askew-Henry||West Virginia|
|P||Ian Berryman||Western Carolina|
|DE||Greg Gilmore||LSU||Signed May 13|
|QB||Devlin Hodges||Samford||Signed May 13|
|T||Damian Prince||Maryland||Signed May 13|
|LB||Tuzar Skipper||Toledo||Signed May 13|
|TE/LS||Trevor Wood||Texas A&M|
Pittsburgh Steelers staff
|1||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 30–28||1–0||Heinz Field||Recap|
|2||Kansas City Chiefs||W 17–7||2–0||Heinz Field||Recap|
|3||at Tennessee Titans||W 18–6||3–0||Nissan Stadium||Recap|
|4||at Carolina Panthers||L 19–25||3–1||Bank of America Stadium||Recap|
The Steelers, along with the rest of the NFL, unveiled their schedule on April 17. The team released a video on social media unveiling their schedule by using the Neighborhood of Make-Believe from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in honor of Pittsburgh native Fred Rogers. Longtime radio play-by-play announcer Bill Hillgrove did the voiceover, referring to the Steelers division rivals as their "neighbors", their Thursday night game as "speedy delivery" (in honor of Mr. McFeely), their three West Coast games as "traveling to a far-away land", and the series' closing theme to reference the team's bye week. The Steelers received critical acclaim by both USA Today and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for honoring Rogers.
|1||September 8||8:20 p.m.||at New England Patriots||L 3–33||0–1||Gillette Stadium||NBC||Recap|
|2||September 15||1:00 p.m.||Seattle Seahawks||L 26–28||0–2||Heinz Field||Fox||Recap|
|3||September 22||4:25 p.m.||at San Francisco 49ers||L 20–24||0–3||Levi's Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|4||8:15 p.m.||Cincinnati Bengals||W 27–3||1–3||Heinz Field||ESPN||Recap|
|5||October 6||1:00 p.m.||Baltimore Ravens||L 23–26 (OT)||1–4||Heinz Field||CBS||Recap|
|6||October 13||8:20 p.m.||at Los Angeles Chargers||W 24–17||2–4||Dignity Health Sports Park||NBC||Recap|
|8||8:15 p.m.||Miami Dolphins||W 27–14||3–4||Heinz Field||ESPN||Recap|
|9||November 3||1:00 p.m.||Indianapolis Colts||W 26–24||4–4||Heinz Field||CBS||Recap|
|10||November 10||4:25 p.m.||Los Angeles Rams||W 17–12||5–4||Heinz Field||Fox||Recap|
|11||8:20 p.m.||at Cleveland Browns||FirstEnergy Stadium||Fox/NFLN/
|12||November 24||1:00 p.m.||at Cincinnati Bengals||Paul Brown Stadium||CBS|
|13||December 1||4:25 p.m.||Cleveland Browns||Heinz Field||CBS|
|14||December 8||4:25 p.m.||at Arizona Cardinals||State Farm Stadium||CBS|
|15||December 15||1:00 p.m.||Buffalo Bills||Heinz Field||CBS|
|16||December 22||1:00 p.m.||at New York Jets||MetLife Stadium||CBS|
|17||December 29||1:00 p.m.||at Baltimore Ravens||M&T Bank Stadium||CBS|
- Intra-division opponents are in bold text.
- Networks and times from Weeks 12–17 are subject to change as a result of flexible scheduling.
Week 1: at New England Patriots
The Steelers started their season on the road against the Patriots. The Patriots scored first, 10 minutes into the opening quarter, when Tom Brady found Josh Gordon on a 20-yard touchdown pass to make it 7–0 for the only score of the period. They made it 10–0 in the second quarter when Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 25-yard field goal. This was followed up by Brady connecting with Philip Dorsett on a 25-yard touchdown pass to make it 17–0, before Gostkowski kicked a 41-yard field goal to make it 20–0 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Steelers managed to get on the board when Chris Boswell kicked a 19-yard field goal to make it 20–3. However, Brady and Dorsett connected again on a 58-yard touchdown pass to make it 27–3. This was followed up by Gostkowski kicking a 35-yard field goal to put the Pats up 30–3. In the fourth quarter, the Pats scored the only three points with Gostkowski's fourth field goal of the game to make the eventual final score 33–3.
With the loss, the Steelers started 0–1.
Week 2: vs. Seattle Seahawks
The Steelers opened their season at home against the Seahawks. After a scoreless first quarter, the Steelers scored first in the second when James Conner ran for a 1-yard touchdown to make it 7–0. The Seahawks tied it up when QB Russell Wilson found Will Dissly on a 14-yard pass to make it 7–7. Though, the Steelers would retake the lead at halftime when Chris Boswell kicked a 41-yard field goal to make it 10–7. Wilson and Dissley connected again in the third quarter on a 12-yard pass to make it 14–10, though the Steelers later came within a point after Boswell kicked a 33-yard field goal to make it 14–13. The Seahawks pulled away when Rashaad Penny ran for a 37-yard touchdown to make it 21–13. In the fourth quarter, the Steelers came within 2 when backup QB Mason Rudolph found TE Vance McDonald on an 8-yard pass (with a failed two-point conversion) to make it 21–19. The Seahawks responded as Wilson found DK Metcalf on a 28-yard pass to make it 28–19. The Steelers scored the final points of the game with Rudolph again connecting with McDonald from three yards out to make the final score 28–26.
With the loss, the Steelers fell to 0–2, their first such start since 2013. Longtime franchise QB Ben Roethlisberger was also ruled out for the season after suffering a non-contact elbow injury during the game.
Week 3: at San Francisco 49ers
After a tough loss at home, the Steelers headed back on the road for a game against the 49ers. In the first quarter, it was all Steelers when Chris Boswell kicked two field goals from 46 and 26 yards out to make it 6–0. The Niners got on the board when Robbie Gould kicked a 24-yard field goal in the second to make it 6–3 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Niners took the lead when Jeff Wilson ran for a 1-yard touchdown to make it 10–6, though the Steelers retook the lead when Mason Rudolph found JuJu Smith-Schuster on a 79-yard pass to make it 13–10. The Niners retook the lead later on in the quarter when Wilson ran for a 4-yard touchdown to make it 17–13. In the fourth quarter, Rudolph found Diontae Johnson on a 39-yard pass to retake the lead 20–17. Though, the Niners ended up winning the game when Jimmy Garoppolo found Dante Pettis on a 5-yard pass for a final score of 24–20.
With the loss, the Steelers fell to 0–3 for the first time since 2013.
Week 4: vs. Cincinnati Bengals
at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
After another tough loss, the Steelers returned home for a Monday Night Football duel against the Bengals. In the first quarter, the Bengals scored first, when Randy Bullock kicked a 28-yard field goal to make it 3–0 for the quarter's only score. However, it would be all Steelers from the second quarter on wards when they scored 27 consecutive points to seal the game and get their first win.
With the win—their ninth straight over the Bengals—the Steelers improved to 1–3.
Week 5: vs. Baltimore Ravens
at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
After a huge win at home against the Bengals, the Steelers stayed at home for another AFC North duel against the Ravens. In the first quarter, the Ravens went up 3–0 after Justin Tucker kicked a 27-yard field goal. They made it 10–0 after Mark Ingram II ran for a 4-yard touchdown, but the Steelers pulled it back to 10–7 after Mason Rudolph found JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 35-yard touchdown pass. In the second quarter, the Ravens pulled back ahead by double-digits as Marquise Brown caught an 11-yard pass from Lamar Jackson to make it 17–7, but a pair of Chris Boswell field goals from 41 and 29 yards out made it 17–13 going into halftime. The Steelers took the lead in the third quarter when James Conner ran for a 1-yard touchdown to make it 20–17 for the quarter's only score. In the fourth quarter, the Ravens tied it up when Tucker kicked a 26-yard field goal to make it 20–20. The Steelers retook the lead on a 33-yard Boswell field goal to make it 23–20, but the Ravens were able to force overtime when Tucker hit a 48-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in regulation to tie the scores at 23–23. In overtime, the Ravens capitalized on a fumble by Smith-Schuster by nudging into field goal range to allow Tucker to kick the game-winning 46-yarder.
With the loss, the Steelers fell to 1–4.
Week 6: at Los Angeles Chargers
After losing to the Ravens at home, the Steelers traveled west to take on the Chargers in a Sunday Night duel. The Steelers led 24–0 going into the fourth quarter, only for the Chargers to score 17 unanswered points, putting them a touchdown away from tying the game with less than 90 seconds remaining. Although they failed with their onside kick attempt, they forced the Steelers to go three-and-out on their ensuing possession, giving QB Philip Rivers the opportunity to attempt a 99-yard, game-winning drive; however, he was picked off by CB Cameron Sutton, allowing the Steelers to kneel out the clock for a 24–17 win.
With the win, the Steelers went into their bye week at 2–4, and with the Browns' loss to the Seahawks earlier in the day, they moved into a tie for second place in the AFC North.
Week 8: vs. Miami Dolphins
at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Coming off their bye week, the Steelers returned home for a Monday Night Football game against the Dolphins. The Dolphins jumped out to a 14–0 lead in the first quarter, but from the second quarter onwards, it would be all Steelers as they put up 27 unanswered points to seal the victory.
With the win, the Steelers improved to 3–4.
Week 9: vs. Indianapolis Colts
at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Steelers stayed home for a game against the Colts. In the first quarter, the Colts scored first when Adam Vinatieri kicked a 25-yard field goal to make it 3-0. The Steelers tied it up when Chris Boswell kicked a 21-yard field goal to make it 3-3. In the second quarter, the Colts moved back into the lead when Brian Hoyer found Jack Doyle on an 11-yard pass to make it 10-3. Though, the Steelers tied the game up again when Minkah Fitzpatrick returned an interception 96 yards for a touchdown to make it 10-10. The Colts regained the lead when Hoyer found Zach Pascal on a 14-yard pass (with a failed PAT) to make it 16-10. The Steelers drew closer when Boswell kicked a 51-yard field goal to make it 16-13 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Steelers took the lead when Mason Rudolph found Vance McDonald on a 7-yard pass to make it 20-16. The Colts then came with 2 when Alejandro Villanueva was sacked in the end zone for a safety by Justin Houston, making the score 20-18. The Steelers moved slightly further ahead in the fourth quarter when Boswell kicked a 33-yard field goal to make it 23-18. Though, the Colts regained the lead when Chester Rogers caught a 4-yard pass (with a failed 2-point conversion) from Brian Hoyer to make the score 24-23. Boswell then got the Steelers the lead back when he kicked a 26-yard field goal to make it 26-24. Getting the ball back with just under 90 seconds left, Vinatieri missed the potential game-winning field goal. This allowed the Steelers to kneel out for victory.
With the win, the Steelers improved to 4-4.
Week 10: vs. Los Angeles Rams
at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
After a tough home win, the Steelers stayed home for a game against the Rams. The Rams scored first in the first quarter when Dante Fowler Jr. returned a fumble 26 yards for a touchdown to make it 7-0. The Steelers, however, tied the game up later on in the quarter when Mason Rudolph found James Washington on a 3-yard pass to make it 7-7. In the second quarter, the Steelers took the lead when Minkah Fitzpatrick returned a fumble 43 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-7 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Rams drew closer when Greg Zuerlein kicked a 30-yard field goal to make it 14-10. In the fourth quarter, they came even closer when Aaron Donald sacked Rudolph in the end zone for a safety to make it 14-12. The Steelers moved slightly further ahead as Chris Boswell kicked a 33-yard field goal. Going back and forth for the remainder of the quarter, later on, the Rams' defense forced the Steelers to go 3 and out. However, they had already used up their time outs. Jared Goff attempted a comeback within the final seconds of the game only to be intercepted by Fitzpatrick sealing the 17-12 win for the Steelers.
With their fourth straight win, the Steelers improved to 5-4.
Week 11: at Cleveland Browns
|1||New England Patriots||East||8||1||0||.889||4–0||6–1||.366||.315||L1|
|4||Kansas City Chiefs||West||6||4||0||.600||2–0||4–3||.575||.536||L1|
|In the hunt|
|11||Los Angeles Chargers||West||4||6||0||.400||0–2||2–5||.505||.514||L1|
|15[e]||New York Jets||East||2||7||0||.222||0–4||0–6||.524||.368||W1|
The Steelers have been involved in the following transactions during the 2019 season:
|Player||Acquired from||Traded to||Date||Trade terms|
|OT Marcus Gilbert||Arizona Cardinals||March 13||2019 6th round pick (207th)|
|WR Antonio Brown||Oakland Raiders||March 13||2019 3rd round pick (66th)|
2019 5th round pick (141st)
|OT Jerald Hawkins||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||August 31||2021 7th round pick to Tampa Bay |
2021 6th round pick to Pittsburgh
|QB Joshua Dobbs||Jacksonville Jaguars||September 9||2020 5th round pick|
|FS Minkah Fitzpatrick||Miami Dolphins||September 17||2020 1st round pick|
2020 4th round pick
2021 6th round pick to Miami
2020 4th round pick
2021 7th round pick to Pittsburgh
|TE Nick Vannett||Seattle Seahawks||September 25||2020 5th round pick|
Free agent signings
|Player||Acquired from||Lost to||Date||Contract terms|
|RB Le'Veon Bell||New York Jets||March 13||4 years / $52.5 million|
|TE Jesse James||Detroit Lions||March 14||4 years / $22.6 million|
|LB L. J. Fort||Philadelphia Eagles||March 14||3 years / $5.5 million|
|CB Steven Nelson||Kansas City Chiefs||March 14||3 years / $25.5 million|
|WR Donte Moncrief||Jacksonville Jaguars||March 14||2 years / $9 million|
|LB Mark Barron||Los Angeles Rams||March 19||2 years / $12 million|
|SS||Morgan Burnett||April 1|
|ILB||Jon Bostic||April 27|
|OLB||Keion Adams||May 13|
|G||R. J. Prince||May 13|
|RB||Ralph Webb||August 19|
|CB||Herb Waters||August 27|
|OLB||Tegray Scales||August 31|
|TE||Kevin Rader||August 31|
|WR||Johnny Holton||August 31|
|NT||Winston Craig||August 31|
|FS||Marcus Allen||August 31|
|DE||Conor Sheehy||August 31|
|WR||Trey Griffey||August 31|
|CB||Brian Allen||August 31|
|NT||Casey Sayles||August 31|
|CB||Trevon Mathis||August 31|
|C||J. C. Hassenauer||August 31|
|OLB||Jayrone Elliott||August 31|
|FS||Marcelis Branch||August 31|
|C||Patrick Morris||August 31|
|OLB||Christian Kuntz||August 31|
|ILB||Robert Spillane||August 31|
|WR||Eli Rogers||August 31|
|RB||Trey Edmunds||August 31|
|NT||Henry Mondeaux||August 31|
|WR||Tevin Jones||August 31|
|RB||Malik Williams||August 31|
|WR||Brandon Reilly||August 31|
|DE||Greg Gilmore||August 31|
|OLB||Tuzar Skipper||September 7|
- Popejoy, Curt (April 28, 2019). "Steelers HC Mike Tomlin calls roster moves a 'cleansing'". Steelers Wire. USA Today Sports. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
- Varley, Teresa (April 29, 2019). "Steelers place Shazier on PUP list". Steelers.com.
- @steelers (April 18, 2019). "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood" (Tweet). Retrieved April 21, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Brinson, Will (September 16, 2019). "Ben Roethlisberger injury: Steelers QB undergoing elbow surgery, will miss remainder of 2019 season". CBS Sports. Retrieved September 16, 2019.