CHICAGO (AP) — Jordan Howard scored on a 19-yard run in overtime to lead the Chicago Bears to a 23-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Howard’s winning score came two plays after rookie Tarik Cohen broke off an electric run for what appeared to be a 73-yard game-winning touchdown. But he was ruled out at the Pittsburgh 37. Howard took over from there, and the Bears (1-2) came away with a surprising victory.
Howard had 138 of Chicago’s 220 yards rushing, making up for a lackluster performance by quarterback Mike Glennon.
The Steelers (2-1) stayed off the sideline for the national anthem in the wake of President Donald Trump’s comments that players who kneel in protest should be fired. Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva — an Army veteran — stood near the tunnel with his hand over his heart.
Once the game ended, they found themselves in a familiar spot — losing to a lesser team and losing in Chicago, where they are 1-13.
Last year, Pittsburgh won its first two games before getting beaten 34-3 by Philadelphia, which finished with a losing record. In 2015, the Steelers were surging toward a playoff spot, when they lost late in the season to a Baltimore team that finished 5-11.
Despite the victory, Glennon did nothing to stop the calls in Chicago for No. 2 overall draft pick Mitchell Trubisky, throwing for just 101 yards with a touchdown and interception.
Marcus Cooper committed an inexplicable fumble after the Bears blocked a field goal in the closing seconds of the half. With a clear path to the end zone, he slowed down and had the ball poked away at the 1.
But the Bears won for just the first time in nine September games over three seasons under coach John Fox.
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 235 yards and a touchdown. Antonio Brown had 110 yards receiving and a touchdown. And Le’Veon Bell ran for 61 yards and a TD for Pittsburgh.
The Steelers’ J.J. Wilcox picked off a pass thrown behind the Bears’ Zach Miller at the Chicago 21, leading to a tying field goal by Chris Boswell midway through the fourth quarter.
The Bears led 17-7 at halftime following a wild sequence in the closing seconds that included Cooper’s fumble after Chicago’s Sherrick McManis blocked a 35-yard field goal. After Cooper slowed down, the Steelers’ Vance McDonald knocked the ball out of his hands at the 1.
With the ball bouncing in the end zone, holder Jordan Berry swatted it out the back with his right hand.
The officials initially ruled a touchback. Bears coach John Fox argued, and after a lengthy review, the ball was placed about a half yard from the goal line.
Chicago lined up to go for the touchdown but settled for a field goal after left tackle Charles Leno Jr. got flagged for a false start.
Chicago’s Kyle Long started at right guard for the Bears after being sidelined since Nov. 13 because of a right ankle injury.
Long had been taking snaps at left guard in training camp before the Bears shut him down. But he was back at his more familiar position with RG Josh Sitton sidelined by a rib injury. Cody Whitehair started at left guard, with Hroniss Grasu at center.
Steelers: TE Jesse James suffered a shoulder injury on a hard hit by Kyle Fuller following a second-quarter catch but returned in the second half. … G Ramon Foster hurt his left hand in the first quarter.
Bears: Grasu hurt his hand in the first half.
Steelers: Visit Baltimore on Oct. 1.
Bears: Visit Green Bay on Thursday night.
(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)