PITTSBURGH -- Welcome to the NFL, Chase Claypool. The Pittsburgh Steelers rookie caught a deep pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in stride along the Broncos' sideline at about the 45-yard line and outran the Broncos' secondary to the end zone for an 84-yard touchdown -- his first NFL touchdown.
The 84-yard reception is tied for the fourth-longest by a rookie in franchise history. Roethlisberger threw the ball 37 yards downfield. Big Ben had completed just 4 of his previous 20 passes of 30-plus air yards dating back to 2018.
The score was the only play of the Steelers' drive, which started at their own 16-yard-line after a would-be 81-yard punt return touchdown by Diontae Johnson was wiped off the board because of a block in the back penalty. The touchdown gave the Steelers a 14-3 lead.
In his Week 1 debut, Claypool, the Steelers' second-round pick, caught a 28-yard pass from Roethlisberger on the sideline, registered as the week's most improbable completion by NextGen Stats.
Claypool received tons of praise from coach Mike Tomlin, who is notorious for downplaying his rookies in training camp. But just two weeks into his pro career, the Canadian-born Claypool, a Notre Dame product, is more than living up to the hype.