Their Season is Over, (Maybe)
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been consistent in only one area this year. They play ‘down’ to their competition.
On Sunday they played the 4-8 Chargers. They had already lost games to the Oakland Raiders, the Tennessee Titans, and the Cleveland Browns. Sunday their defense couldn’t get off the field on third down. They had virtually no pass rush. A backwards pass off a lineman gave the Chargers a touchdown. At the end of the third quarter, the Steelers forced San Diego into a “3 and out”, and the Chargers faked the punt and got a first down.
In the first half, dropped passes by Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace took away scoring opportunities and gave them to San Diego. The Steelers are one of the worst teams in the league at creating turnovers, and on Sunday they continued the streak at zero. The end of it all came with 10:26 left in the game when “Big Ben” threw an interception close to his own end zone. On the first play Rivers threw another touchdown pass, making the score 10-34.
When a team shows as much lack of motivation as did the Steelers Sunday, I blame the coaching staff. Coach Tomlin needs to demand more from LeBeau and Haley, as well as himself.
With this loss, the Steelers may have put themselves out of the playoffs, unless they get extremely lucky. Final score 24-34.
If they play true to form, they’ll get a win over Dallas and Cincinnati, but lose to Cleveland. The only player who played well was “Big Ben”, who had missed three games with a shoulder and rib injury. Offense, defense, and special teams played poorly and committed ignorant penalties.
The reason I said ‘maybe’, is because of what happened to the other two playoff contenders in their own division. Cincinnati lost to Dallas at home with 4 seconds remaining, and Washington won over Baltimore in overtime.
As Chris Berman always said: “That’s why they play the games.”