Conner Sets Tone for Steelers Win

Tailback combines for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns

Jeff Hathhorn
October 07, 2018 - 6:29 pm

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – Doing something only Franco Harris had done previously with the Steelers, second year running back James Conner helped lead them to their first home win, 42-17 over the Falcons on Sunday.

Conner had over 100 rushing yards, 75 receiving yards and two rushing touchdowns, only Harris did that previously in the modern era.

“I was ready to go,” Conner said.  “I was trying to set the tone early and we just had to start fast.  I was excited.  Anytime they call me up, I’m excited.”

“He was just hitting the hole really nice,” said center Maurkice Pouncey.  “He was asserting in there and imposing his way in there.  You saw the energy that he had, you could tell how bad he wanted to have a big game and to go out and perform and a high level and we are all happy for him."

Conner had 71 of his 110 rushing yards by halftime and that included the first of his two touchdowns, a leaping score after his initial TD was reversed by replay.

“Another opportunity at it,” Conner said.  “Get it across the goal line any way possible, just jump.”

“Ran hard, ran people over, spun around people and I told him ‘listen, there are even times that I though he made a move when he could have lowered the boom’,” said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.  “He’s a very powerful back.  I don’t think people give him the credit he should get.”

Tackle Marcus Gilbert said the tailback, in his fourth career start, inspired a veteran offensive line. 

“Spectacular,” Gilbert said of Conner, “he did everything well and we fed off him.  I would say as the line we want to set precedence, but we fed off his energy and he did a hell of a job."

Conner finished with 185 yards from scrimmage along with the two scores and he also participated in a rare occurrence at Heinz Field.

“I delivered a baby,” Conner said of being a part of JuJu Smith-Schuster’s mock-birth touchdown celebration.

With Bell’s return potentially coming at the end of the month, Conner may have also delivered a statement.