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.