Steelers Playoff Hopes on Life Support; Lay Egg in Baltimore Losing 20-17

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In a game the Steelers had to have, they laid another road egg against a bad team, losing to a Baltimore Ravens team starting a quarterback who was starting a QB that wasn’t on the roster two weeks ago.

The result, a 20-17 loss to the Ravens, their second three-point loss this season to Baltimore, and one that puts their playoff hopes on life support after the Jets topped the Patriots in overtime.

The Steelers only way to make the postseason is a win in Cleveland and a Jets loss to the Bills in Buffalo.

No one played well Sunday, from starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a defense that let Ryan Mallett pick them apart all day.

Mallett was 28-for-41 for 274 yards and a touchdown, getting sacked just once and ending the day with a quarterback rating of 95. They outgained the ‘high powered’ Steelers offense 386 to 315.

The Ravens defense did the job on the Steelers first drive, stopping DeAngelo Williams on a 4th-and-1 that seemed to totally change the momentum of the game the rest of the day.

Baltimore drove down the field and easily scored, and from the rest of the day the Steelers were playing from behind, and they played about as bad a game as they have in the Mike Tomlin era.

They played to the level of the Ravens, not putting up a fight that could have kept them in the drivers seat for the postseason.

Roethlisberger was awful most of the day, going 24-for-34 for 220 yards with two picks, three sacks and a QB rating of 63.4. He and the wide outs were never on the same page it felt like, and they waited too long to get back in the game after trailing 13-3 at the half.

The Ravens played loose, hitting on key third downs all day, with Mallett hitting Kyle Juszczyk for five key catches, including one that put them in a position to go up 20-10 with 10:40 left to play.

The Steelers run game was paced by Williams, who did rush for 100 yards on 17 carries with a two scores. The Steelers offense, which had been putting up over 475 yards a game since the loss to the Bengals back in early November, put up just 302 in the loss.

Third downs also cost the Steelers, as they were 2-for-8 on third downs, while the Ravens seemed to have their way all day when they needed a big third down, going 9-for-18.

They also were dominated in the time of possession, getting beat in that department 34:20 to 24:30. At the end of the day, nothing went right, and it was yet another letdown by a Mike Tomlin team that appeared to be well on their way for the playoffs.

Now it’s down to the final week, where the Steelers need to beat Cleveland on the road, and now root for Rex Ryan and the Bills to beat the Jets in Buffalo.

If not, it’s another wasted season for a Steelers team that some had going to the Super Bowl.

About the Author

Matt Loede
Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

5 Comments on "Steelers Playoff Hopes on Life Support; Lay Egg in Baltimore Losing 20-17"

  1. Booooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!! Predictable ugly loss. Another season under Tomlin mired in mediocrity. Hard to watch. This team appears to have no heart.

  2. Another example of bad decision making by tomlin. Should have kicked the fg early on.

  3. Insert here all of the comments made throughout the year. This is still a mediocre team, on offense and defense, as it was in July. Once again, we made a journeyman QB look good. Haley’s offensive play calling on crucial downs didn’t help. And once again, we had Ben being Ben: two interceptions (a third was disallowed by penalty),three sacks, and failure to find or utilize open receivers short (especially Miller) in favor of lower percentage throws to well-covered receivers deep. And yet again, our high-priced QB was out-played by a low-priced backup who joined the Ravens less than two weeks ago. Today’s performance speaks volumes about both our QB and our coaches.

    And no, Austin, we did not lose the game because we ran the ball well. In fact, we did not run the ball enough. After our first drive (featuring the run) ended in a Williams’ fumble inside the ten, Haley ran the ball only sporadically and often at the wrong time. We ended up with 110 rushing yards to Baltimore’s 121. But the more significant fact is that Baltimore could run the ball when they needed to make first downs or burn clock. The Steelers couldn’t. The team that ran the ball more effectively won the game.

  4. We lost the game because our elite clutch QB couldn’t put a decent performance together! We CANNOT AFFORD TO HAVE RUN FIRST MINDSET BECAUSE OUR DEFENSE IS WAY TOO ATROCIOUS! You win games with a run first mindset 14-10, 17-13, etc. soon as you allow the opponent to get into the upper teens and low twenties and beyond, that is when a balanced attack kind of becomes risky because the run game grinds clock thus limiting scoring opportunities! This is ESPECIALLY true when the defense SUUUUUUCKS like ours does! It allows the opponent to keep scoring and/or grind clock which is what Baltimore fucking did! Ben gettin paid, like Alex from A Clockwork Orange said, “big, big money!” so he supposed to play like a big, big boy, not some of the time but all of the time and he not allowed to have a bad game. Quarter backs with decent defenses are but ours ain’t! I’m only a Ben supporter when his play is commensurate with his salary! It now seems like he the antithesis of his former self meaning that he used to be the guy who could throw it only 15-20’times and be accurate and on his game but now he seems to have done a 180 in that he need to throw it at least 30 times to be on his game! It’s a catch 22 that, if you run the ball you risk not letting your QB heat up. I agree with the play calling although I didn’t think they’d totally abandon the run but with this defense, yo got to out score people! That loss falls on Ben and tomlin in that it is now a repetitive, broken record scenario with tomlin teams on the road against subpar qbs ! They shit the bed regularly and I just wonder if Pittsburgh can win with incompetence at HC and a QB who seems to need to throw it so often in order to be successful—-Brady can throw it five times if th game plan calls for it and be successful! They can also ask him to throw it fifty times! Why does our qb seem to not be able to get into rhythm unless that’s all he’s asked to do! Because he was asked today to do share the reps with the run game and was abysmally off and didn’t heat up at all until they abandoned the run game! And even then his “heating up” was not that good! Fire tomlin, Colbert, butler and ah, who cares….team not worth our emotional stress!

  5. Don’t think tomlin sucks as a head coach? Ken Whisenhint who is an abysmal head coach outcoached tomlin in the Super Bowl, Mike McCarthy who is an overrated head coach, outcoached tomlin in Super Bowl, tomlin let Jaguars come into Heinz field and win in playoff in 2007—THE JAGUARS!!!!, tomlin promised to unleash hell on league in 2009 and then commenced to go on a five game losing streak which ended their season, tomlin goes into Denver and allows Tebow, to win, then he doesn’t make playoffs for a couple straight years, the he is once again outcoached by another coach this time John Harbaugh who outcoaches tomlin regularly, all the while this is going on the steelers are starting, sustaining and continuing a trend which is to religiously lose to subpar teams! Thanks Rooneys for hiring this jackass who is continually outcoached by opponents, especially by in-division rival Baltimore!

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