GAME BALL goes to: WR Antonio Brown
Brown tied a career high with nine catches, had a career-best 196 receiving yards and made two spectacular touchdown catches in an attempt to bring the Steelers back from a 17-0 deficit. His longest catch was a 45-yarder on third-and-5 in the first quarter that set up their first field goal. Brown's second touchdown was a one-handed catch in the back left corner of the end zone. "We did some good things, but we didn't win," Brown said. "Good things aren't good enough."
X's AND O's
The Steelers came into the game with the fewest number of first-down plays in the league (47) and ranked 20th in yards per first-down play (4.77). Their main objective was to improve on first down and, for the first half, they did, gaining 72 yards on 12 first-down plays, an average of 6 yards per play. The longest play was a 22-yard pass to Emmanuel Sanders that set up a 33-yard scoring pass to Antonio Brown. In the second half, the Steelers averaged 8.36 yards on 14 first-down plays, including consecutive gains of 22, 26 and 21 yards on the touchdown drive that made it 27-20.
THE COUNTDOWN -- A quick look at the top performances from Sunday's game:
1. JAY'S PLAYS: The Steelers had a done a good job preventing Bears QB Jay Cutler from making a big play, not allowing a pass longer than 11 yards for most of the game. But, after the Steelers rallied to cut the lead to 27-23, Cutler connected with WR Brandon Marshall for a 41-yard gain over CB Ike Taylor on third-and-12 to the Steelers 22. Three plays later, Cutler threw a perfect 21-yard TD to WR Earl Bennett in the left corner of the end zone to put the game away. "It's frustrating being 0-3 and wanting to win and being close to winning," Taylor said. "Coming up with losses hurts."
2. BIG MISTAKE I: On their third offensive play, Roethlisberger committed the first of his four turnovers, getting stripped of the ball after stepping up in the pocket at the Bears 17. Three plays later, RB Matt Forte scored off the right side for a 10-0 lead.
3. BROWN DOWN: Trailing, 27-13, Antonio Brown made a sensational one-handed catch in the back left corner of the end zone to get the Steelers within a touchdown with 1:50 remaining in the third quarter. "I don't even want to think about it," Brown said. "Doesn't mean anything."
4. BIG MISTAKE II: Three of Roethlisberger's turnovers led to 21 points, and maybe the most damaging came in the second quarter when he threw behind Jerricho Cotchery and safety Major Wright returned the interception 38 yards for a touchdown and a 24-3 lead.
5. PEPPER SALTS AWAY WIN: DE Julius Peppers put an exclamation point on the resounding victory when he picked up a Roethlisberger fumble and returned it 42 yards for the final touchdown. It was the second Roethlisberger fumble returned for a touchdown.
"I don't know if we can't dig out, but we got to keep trying. It's a deep hole and it's getting deeper. But we're not going to quit."
-- QB Ben Roethlisberger on trying to overcome an 0-3 start, the Steelers' worst since 2000.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
55: That was the number of yards RB Matt Forte gained on a first-down run in the first quarter, leading to the Bears' second touchdown. It was the longest run against the Steelers since Raiders RB Darren McFadden scored on a 64-yard run in 2012 in Oakland.
WHAT WAS HE THINKING?
After completing just 2 of 13 passes of 20 yards or longer in the first two games, Roethlisberger had 10 completions of 20 yards or longer against the Bears, including touchdowns of 33 and 21 yards to Antonio Brown. His longest pass was a 45-yarder to Brown that set up a field goal. Roethlisberger finished with 406 yards passing, but he had four turnovers. "I can't turn the ball over, plain and simple," Roethlisberger said. "They made some great plays, guys were running to the ball, stuck a hand out and got a piece of the ball. That's the way it goes."
The Steelers (0-3) play the Minnesota Vikings (0-3) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London, England. The all-time series is tied, 8-8, but the Steelers have won the past three meetings.