Fitzpatrick shines in debut, Steelers still continue downward spiral in loss to 49ers

Minkah Fitzpatrick in 2018

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Minkah Fitzpatrick in 2018

Matthew Szymanowski, Deputy Sports Editor

In most games in the NFL, if your defense causes five turnovers, you’re in good shape.

That was not the case yesterday, as the Pittsburgh Steelers west coast struggles continued in the 24-20 loss to the 49ers.

After kicking off to the 49ers to start the game, the Steelers caused their first turnover when T.J. Watt had an early interception. The Steelers would kick a field goal and take a quick 3-0 lead.

A few drives later, newly acquired safety Minkah Fitzpatrick made his presence known when he had an interception. The Steelers would ultimately kick a field goal and take a 6-0 lead.

The 49ers next two drives ended in fumbles where Fitzpatrick and first-round draft pick Devin Bush came up big.

The Steelers, though, could not get anything going and failed to score both times.

San Francisco would kick a field goal before the half and only trail by three.

To start the second half, the Steelers got a taste of their own medicine when Mason Rudolph threw an interception.

The 49ers would score and take a 10-6 lead.

A few drives later, Rudolph made up for his mistake when he connected with JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 76-yard touchdown pass.

The 49ers would respond immediately, though, and take their lead back, 17-13.

With 10:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, Mason Rudolph found rookie Dionte Johnson for a 39-yard touchdown pass.

As the clock was winding down, the Steelers defense did it again when they caused their fifth turnover of the game on a fumble.

It looked like the Steelers were in business with not much time on the clock.

Then, the 49ers came up with a big play when they forced a fumble to get the ball back.

San Francisco would go down the rest of the field and score a touchdown with 1:15 remaining in the game to take a 24-20 lead.

The Steelers could not score with the time remaining and fell to the 49ers, 24-20.

With another loss, the Steelers fell to 0-3 on the season. Their next game is Monday, Sept. 30 at home against the Cincinnati Bengals at 8:15 p.m.

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