Pittsburgh Steelers fans and players whip the Falcons in Atlanta

ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 04: Steelers fans were out in force during the Sunday afternoon NFL game… [+] between the Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers on December 4, 2022 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

If you want to know about the strength of the Steeler Nation beyond the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers around Pittsburgh, consider what happened Sunday 685 miles south near the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta.

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium became the Acrisure Stadium.

That was the case throughout this NFL game, dominated by the visitors in many ways, but never more so than down the stretch.

The Atlanta Falcons trailed the Pittsburgh Steelers 19-13, but those playing for the home team were driving the offense – first from their 26, and then into Steelers territory by their 23, and before long, they were in the 20 and then on 17 for second and goal.

About 75% to 80% of the 70,325 people in attendance got up to cheer like crazy, and it wasn’t for those playing for the home team on offense.

These fans waved Terrible Towels, the gold ones with the black lettering to represent the Steelers colors, and they did, because that’s what they do, but mostly because every Steelers defensive player on the field before the Falcons broke the huddle kept going. throwing his hands in the air, urging the Steeler Nation to get taller and then HIGHER, which it did.

The Falcons settled for a field goal.

Moments later, the Steelers left town a 19-16 winner and 5-7 after their third win in four games, and they could name the Heywards – Connor, a tight end, and his brother, Cameron, a defensive tackle. . While Connor caught the first touchdown of his rookie career, Cameron showed why he’s a five-time Pro Bowl player in his 12th NFL season with the Steelers’ only sack.

ATLANTA, GA DECEMBER 04: Pittsburgh defensive tackle Cameron Heyward (97) acknowledges fans … [+] as he walked off the field following the conclusion of the NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. December 2022 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Cameron also broke up a pass and harassed Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota in general, and there was this: Earlier in the day, the brothers visited the grave of their Atlanta-area father, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, and Ironhead was a bulldozer runner for three seasons with the Falcons during the 1990s before he died following his football career from cancer at age 39.

“My dad and God are always working together,” said Cameron Heyward of Ironhead, and if you didn’t know better, you’d think that tens of thousands of people wearing anything you can imagine in Steelers colors were also working together to help their Beloved team victory.

Steelers fans spent the entire weekend everywhere in the greater Atlanta area. On the other hand, they’ve been masters since the days of Terry Bradshaw, the Steel Curtain defense and four Super Bowl titles during the 1970s at invading a town when the Steelers are in town to make you swear you took the wrong turn in town. Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Just two years ago, Terrible Towel wobblers were second only to fans of the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, and New Orleans Saints (in that order) on Forbes’ list of the NFL’s most passionate fans. The year before, Steelers supporters of all things Steelers were again fourth on the Forbes list, but this time, in the best overall NFL fans category.

Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett had his own roster, and you probably know where he placed Steeler Nation’s in every category.

“Yes, it’s unbelievable. We have the best fans in the world,” Pickett told CBS after completing 16 of 28 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown. “They travel to every stadium and it feels like we are at home in every stadium. They do an unbelievable job. We are very appreciative and grateful for the great fans we have. We give our all every Sunday for them.”

The Falcons wouldn’t disagree.

If a game takes place during snowy or rainy conditions, it will create additional moisture that will make it difficult for players to throw, catch and hold the ball. So, by tucking a towel down the front of their pants, they can keep their hands as dry as possible.

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