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Third Straight Loss Ends Steelers Playoff Hopes; Lose to Bengals 13-10

A season filled with mistakes came to a head Sunday, as a pick thrown by Ben Roethlisberger with 14 seconds left followed up by an eventual Bengals field goal was enough for a Cincinnati 13-10 win at Heinz Field.

The loss puts the Steelers at 7-8, and makes next weeks home finale vs the Cleveland Browns worthless.

Roethlisberger and the Steelers had their chances, as they had the ball twice in the last two minutes, and both times were short in trying to get the Steelers into field goal range for Shaun Suisham, who earlier Sunday missed from 24 yards.

One time they did line up Suisham for a field goal from 54 yards out, but the Steelers kicker was short by about two yards.

The second time, Roethlisberger was picked by Reggie Nelson, was advanced the ball to the Steelers 45. Andy Dalton then hit A.J. Green for a 21-yard gain, setting up Josh Brown with 8 seconds left for a 43-yard field goal, which was good.

Roethlisberger again didn’t play all that well, going 14-for-28 for 220 yards with one score and a pair of picks. The first pick came in the first quarter, and was returned 17 yards for a score by Leon Hall.

The Steelers trailed 10-0 with just over a minute left in the first half when Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown with a 60-yard touchdown to make it a 10-7 game at the half.

An early pick in the third quarter by the Steelers was wasted, as Roethlsiberger was sacked on third down to kill a drive. With the Steelers D stopping the Bengals, Pittsburgh finally tied the game up with four minutes to play in the third quarter when Suisham hit a 40-yard field goal.

Both teams had little success on offense in the fourth quarter, as the Bengals got close enough for Brown to try a 56-yard field goal, which was short.

The Steelers then got a 12-yard run by Rashard Mendenhall to the Cincy 42, but then a four-yard run, two loss, and a scramble by Roethlisberger to the Bengals 36 set up Susiham to try a 53-yard field goal, which was short.

Dalton on the day was 24-for-41 for 278 yards with no touchdowns and two picks. Green, who was held to one catch in the last game between the two teams, caught 10 passes for 116 yards.

The Steelers have lost three straight, and since their OT win over the Chiefs on November 12th, they have lost five of six, with the only win being in Baltimore over the Ravens.

The team rounds out the season with plenty of questions as they take on Cleveland next week, and then will watch the postseason from the outside looking in.

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.



  1. Ben Dover

    December 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Well who is Ben going to blame for this loss? can’t be his fault, more bad play calling by Todd Haley I suppose.

    Its a shame you have one player trying to make the point that he’s bigger than the coaches and management, and the rest of his teammates have to suffer because of Ben’s ego.

    Trade him, he should have been moved after he raped that girl in Georgia.

    • Jalen

      December 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      I totally agree. I would so dangle BB in the offseason and if anyone as so much dangles a top 10 first and second round pick I would haul him away so fast FEDEX would be jealous! There may not be a QB in the draft with his talent but there’s a big boy out of NC State that you could build around. Point is, I, as should all of you and the organization, am through with BB and it is time to start cleaning house and rebuilding with high draft picks and a FA signing or two! You get rid of captain INT., you got no more reason to keep Troy, Harrison, etc., which would free up a lot of cap space to go and turn things around relatively quickly. BB, in my opinion, is best as collateral or bargaining chips at this point, nothing more! He single-handedly F’d up our season! I hope he enjoys cashing that $100 million check of which he is not worth a single cent!

      • Bleed Black and Gold

        December 24, 2012 at 5:55 am

        Put Beb Dover and yourself together and you have two of the Three Stooges. How moronic are You??? Trade one of the top five QBs in the league (and best Steelers QB ever) for a top 10 pick??? Three Superbowl appearances in ten years. Two wins. Three AFC championships. Next to Brady, the most successful QB in the AFC. Get off the mind altering drugs that are turning your brain into mash marmelade.The coaching on the offensive side of the ball is pathetic. Two runs and a pass Haley must go. There is a reason why he was sacked in KC. He stinks, both as a coach and as a motivator. The special teams coach and strength/conditioning coach must also go. The Steelers are one of the most injury plagued teams in the league and their dismal performance on special teams leaves much to be desired. ANd who bailed the team out last year, the Defense??? Major Tom to Ground Control, Dimwit.

        • Ben Dover

          December 26, 2012 at 12:56 am

          Let’s get something straight, the Steelers won those two Super Bowls in spite of Ben Roethlisberger, not because of him.

          Terry Bradshaw is the greatest Steelers quarterback of all-time because he knew he wasn’t bigger than the team, something Ben has failed to realize in nine seasons in the NFL. Bradshaw always played his best when the game counted most. If you knew anything about Steelers history you wouldn’t look like such an uninformed stooge citing Ben’s career accomplishments, compare them to Bradshaw’s four Superbowl appearances in six years –all wins, six AFC championship game appearances in six years –four wins, two Super Bowl MVP’s and one NFL MVP. Add to that Bradshaw didn’t inherit a championship caliber team, that could carry him to two Super Bowls, and win them for him like Roethlisberger did. Super Bowl XLV, when the Steeler’s defense was hurt and couldn’t win the game for then, Ben proved too small for the big stage. Bradshaw never had that problem.

          You are the stooge to think that Roethlisberger is a top-five quarterback in this league. He has never been in the top-five, not even when Brady and Peyton Manning missed a season. Now that Andrew Luck has entered the league, he knocked that over-paid, over-rated, over-weight, egotist right out of the top-10.

          Major Tom to Ground Control, David Bowie was a clueless moron, and so is anyone who quotes his music to punctuate a comment.

          • Jalen

            December 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm

            I guess we’re not allowed to be angry at the team, Ben! People way too sensitive, like a bunch of high school girls, that we have to mind our Ps and Qs or else get yelled at like red headed step children (or the NY Jets…same thing!)….I’m sorry to offend people who I thought had thicker skin. Hell, even captain brilliance himself, Doc George, took a stab at me. Hey, Cap, I got an English degree and a masters in sports management and can talk intellect and IQ with the best of them but don’t nobody wanna hear that blathering nonsense on here! This is a blog with grunts and groans and angst and emotion; not a thesis with an abstract!!!!! Not saying your opinions aren’t valid or that you don’t have a right to them, unlike you who pretty much told me that mine aren’t worth much; an unexpectedly obtuse remark even from the likes of you! If I wanna vent and say get rid of bb and Tomlin and the fans on here are spoiled because they don’t “overreact” in a bad season then ima do just that! The herd mentality ( or a component of it) dictates that misery loves company and quite frankly it woulda helped me to hear people, en masse, calling for carnage after an abysmal season like that. I don’t want theoretic solutions two minutes, two hours or hell even two days after an embarrassment otherwise known as Steelers football season. What this team needs is to be held accountable at all times by its fan base! That is the definition of support, not, it’s okay , we’ll get ’em next year! I won’t support what I saw out there this year and neither should any other loyal fan. Oh and I agree about the David Bowie major Tom whatever the %#* he said….gotta question the sexuality of anyone who references David Bowie for well, pretty much anything….not that there’s anything wrong with being a homo, hell, our team played like a bunch of them this year!

    • Bleed Black and Gold

      December 24, 2012 at 5:59 am

      Thanks for the utterly brilliant comment, Judge Judy. Now it is time to pet felt with the other village idiots.

  2. Jalen

    December 23, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Anyone who watches the game next week against Cleveland under the guise of true fandom is delusional! There are way better games on the docket than Pitt-Cle; which are meaningful with playoff implications. I am also disgusted with Steeler nation as a whole for getting behind and apologizing for the team this year as if this year’s performances were acceptable. Oh, we can intellectualize it all we want (Dr. George) or gripe here and there but where is the visceral agenda on these blogs calling for jobs and heads?!? Call me a hater if you will (because in our society everything seems to HAVE to have a label—-as if you’re too stupid to figure that out for yourselves without the label)….But there should be zero tolerance across the board on our collective end’s for the absolute and utter bullshit we had to watch this year. And yes, you literalists out there can say, “no one twisting your arm to watch football!” Guess what, I gave up plenty of addictions and football ain’t about to be one of them so, no, I can’t NOT watch! So that being said, I expect better performances from Tomlin, who I feel is way overrated as a coach, from BB who is no longer an elite QB in my eyes, from everyone practically who either couldn’t stay healthy or played for a %$#@ paycheck! “Oh, but we have six Lombardi’s!” Stick ’em up your _ss! I’d have to take up a whole blog to even begin to describe what I saw this year specifically so generally I will say that injuries or not, this excuse or that excuse, this team and organization is a %$#@ joke! I am no longer supporting this team in the form of paraphernalia or tickets or whatever! When you got a chance to play at home for the playoffs and you show up lackadaisical, you are a soft uninspired team playing for a blowhard of a coach who allows an overrated “7” to blow games…It’s okay big baby, I mean big ben, you getting your paycheck, right?! Yeah, we all gettin’ our paychecks…just some of us live form one to the next! New England competes every year for a championship NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS INJURYWISE OR WHATEVER! Not this team, I have a lot more respect for the Pats than Steelers and so should everyone else otherwise you’re ridiculously biased and loyal to a team that knows its fans will be there no matter what and guess what, they play like it!

    • PghNative

      December 23, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      Jalen, I have been a Steeler Fan for some 45 years now, and the older I get, the more I realize how hard it is to win a single game in the NFL. Let alone 12-4 every year. Tomlin’s record is 62-32, Two SB, One Win. Average 10.3 wins a year. Remember that Cowher averaged 9.9 wins over 15 years, so slow down on the fire Tomlin talk. Steelers are an organzation of consistency, so be patient with the coach, players, team and organization. Based on the history, I think they know better than both you and I, what works over the long term. More than that, for the product they’ve put on the field over the last 20 years, they deserve the support of any true objective Steeler fan to have a down year. Many of the losses were 3 points or less. Yet, more were 8 points or less. A turnover here, hitting an open receiving there and they could be looking at a first-round bye or home game. First(DeCastro), second(Adams) andthird (Spence) round picks probably played 20% of the season. The sky is not falling. I like most true fans, am so passionate about the Steelers that I feel a momentary sense of a day ruined.

      Sometimes the FO gets the draft right, sometimes they don’t, but the organization is far from a joke. If they win next Sunday, which I hope they don’t (better draft pick) Tomlin would still not have posted a losing season. So calm down, we could be the Cardinals, Buccaneers, Browns, Lions, or you fill in the blank with any historically bad team.

      • Jalen

        December 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm

        I guess you’re right, it is after all, the Obama era…everyone equal, mediocrity abounds, expectations low, ok, I guess it’s just me. I’ll remember the whole 10.6 and 9.9 wins per year comparison next time I’m splitting hairs over whether or not to remain a fan! Bottom line, make the playoffs every year or go #%?!$@ yourself!

      • Dave B.

        December 23, 2012 at 10:19 pm

        I agree wholeheartedly . Jalen needs to get him some nerve pills and go take a nap .

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  4. Dave B.

    December 23, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    First off , for all the masses screaming get rid of Roethlisberger , I say go ahead . However , when you do be prepared for a 6 – 10 season next year . You people have very short memories . This guy has quarterbacked the Steelers to two Super Bowl victories in the last seven years . Before Ben came to the Steelers in 2004 how many Super Bowls did we win ? Absolutely none ! Oh and by the way , we went from 1980 to 2006 without a Super Bowl victory . Weve had two in the last seven years and youre ready to dump the best quarterback this team has had since Bradshaw retired in 1983 ! Bottom line , Steeler Nation is spoiled and I mean BIG TIME ! As far as the last to games are concerned , yes Ben made to bad throws at crucial times and he hurt his teams comeback chances . However , when you look at both games as a whole , the entire offense stunk in both games . The line didnt block and the backs couldnt run . When our young gun wide receivers would catch a pass in the wide open field , they promptly fumbled the ball which was turned into points by the other team . Bottom line , this is not all on one player . The Steelers offense has not got on track all year . Musical running backs every week and an offensive line that looks exactly like a M.A.S.H unit doesnt help matters at all .

  5. Jalen

    December 23, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Yeah I agree that bb is not the only problem….u make it sound like that that is exactly what I, we who want to get rid of him are saying. READ! I blame a lot of different things! Bb just one of em! Oh, what difference is ur prognostic 6-10 from 7-9 which is what we are going to be this year, save for a slightly better draft pick! And there you pacifists go again—spoiled big time—if ur expectations are so low, go root for the Browns….oh, wait, they’re gonna be better than the Steelers real soon!

    • George H

      December 23, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      Sounds like a typical Steeler fan. When we lose the sky is falling and the whole team needs to be scrapped. Week after week we all have to hear Jalen scream bitch and moan about the steelers and to make matters worst he questions everyone else’s fandom. Just bc most of the frequent posters here don’t bash the team after a loss doesn’t mean we’re not true fans. Fact of the matter is the whole team under performed this year. Ben got hurt right as the team was hitting their stride and couldn’t get back in the same pace he was earlier. It’s asinine to want to trade Ben. I’m for rebuilding but not the expense of trading off your best player and still top 5 or 6 qbs in the league. Jalen I would recommend taking a step back and taking a few deep breaths before you burst a blood vessel.

      • Jalen

        December 23, 2012 at 10:51 pm

        Just answer me this then true fan…why don’t you bash them?

        • George H

          December 23, 2012 at 11:25 pm

          There’s no doubt I’m disappointed in the loss today and basically a season of underperforming, but it’s not worth bitching about and calling for heads. I agree that this team should of been better and it was a season full of poor play calling, game plans, adjustments, fundamentals, and lack of big plays in key moments… Well after typing that, no wonder why were an average team lol. It’s just that there are a multitude of variables that go into the success of a season and the ability to sustain success. Like one of the previous posters earlier said, be happy that the Steelers are a model of consistency, and back them when they have a rare down year. Yes it’s frustrating for how the season has played out, but this team was a few plays all year long to being a division winner. The youth movement wasn’t there this season due to injury and off-field issues, so losing that comes into play as well. Give this team the off-season to say goodbye to some of the aged vets and lets hope that the youth coming in will help put this team back in top of the division next year. Unfortunately, it’s a what have you done for me lately league, and we all have to wait til next year to get the bad taste of this season out of our mouths, but hang tight and support your team, bc good times will be ahead. However I do share some of the same concerns with you about the future of the team, I just don’t thinking starting all over again is the ideal situation for where this team stands. Especially your position on bb, although his body is older than his actual age, there aren’t a lot of qbs out there that had what it takes to win a sb. We have to he patient and wait our turn. Success will come out of the failures

          • Bleed Black and Gold

            December 24, 2012 at 5:45 am

            How moronic are You??? Trade one of the top five QBs in the league (and best Steelers QB ever) for a top 10 pick??? Three Superbowl appearances in ten years. Two wins. Three AFC championships. Next to Brady, the most successful QB in the AFC. Get off the mind altering drugs that are turning your brain into mash marmelade.The coaching on the offensive side of the ball is pathetic. Two runs and a pass Haley must go. There is a reason why he was sacked in KC. He stinks, both as a coach and as a motivator. The special teams coach and strength/conditioning coach must also go. The Steelers are one of the most injury plagued teams in the league and their dismal performance on special teams leaves much to be desired.

          • Bleed Black and Gold

            December 24, 2012 at 6:07 am

            My apologies George. My comments were directed at the to morons above. Laurel (Ben Dover) and Hardy (Jalen). How many people does it take to flush a toilet. More than these two.

  6. Schmader

    December 23, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    run, run, short pass. run, run, short pass. why do the steelers always do that? And they try to run the ball up the middle more than any other team in the NFL. There play calling seems very predictable and it has been for at least the last two seasons.The only difference in play calling from Arians to Haley is that instead of throwing down the field they throw short quick passes. But there receivers are built for speed not short passes. They are all smaller quick receivers who can stretch the field, they are not built to catch quick passes in tight coverage. I think that has a lot to do with why they can not seem to get anybody open, and could be why big Ben has thrown so many late game interceptions. Why not try to stretch the field more when you have some of the fastest receivers in the NFL. And why not try and throw on first down more often.

    • Bleed Black and Gold

      December 24, 2012 at 6:14 am

      You’ve got that right. Preachin to the choir. Haley’s play calling resembles Penn State’s play calling of the past.

      • Black and Gold Fever

        December 24, 2012 at 10:56 am

        I agree. I have followed the Steeler’s since the early 70?s and remain a loyal Fan. However, Sunday’s game was very questionable. I have coached Football for a long time and the play calling and the game plan did not fit the importance of the game. Im not blaming anyone in particular, but there were obvious bad decisions made. First, the play calling resembled that of preseason game. Run, Run, pass- you use this format when you are trying to assess your team, or you are trying to run down the clock. Kicking a 54 yard field goal in Hines field is just wrong on two fronts. First, the Bengals just tried it and fell short. Second, how many times had this been down past (someone needed to do some home work in the game planning department). It just seemed obvious to punt the ball and make the Bengals drive the field. Lastly, why go for the winning drive with seconds left in the game and the offense is playing like crap? Just sit on it go into overtime and take your chances, you are at home and have an advantage. I hate to say this, but something smells fishy. I love the NFL, but it is in the business of making money and if their was ever a game being thrown, this one sure had questionable play calling and decision making moments that would make you think. Oh well, we have next year.

  7. Not broke don't fix

    December 23, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Offense was putrid all season, thanks to a good defense to keep us in games otherwise we are looking at the Steelers getting blown out. this seasons failures lie on offense and ST.

  8. Steeler- by-marriage

    December 25, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Anytime you want to trade Tomlin with Ben for Lovie with Jay, we in Chicago are listening…

  9. Rusty

    December 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Blame it all on Art Rooney II. He is the one who wanted Arians fired after a 12-4 record. He is the one who wanted Ben to “tweak his game”, what a joke, Ben has already been to 2 Pro Bowls 3 Super Bowls and 4 AFC Championships. He is the one who wanted to “get back to Steelers footall” (3 yards and a cloud of dust). The NFL doesn’t work like that anymore. He should be like the great Rooney owners of the past and not meddle in the coaches decisions. From 12-4 to 8-8 or maybe 7-9. Thanks Art they are doing your way.

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  11. DS

    December 26, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    The offense was horrible and the head coaching was even worse. A 54 yard field goal attempt? Really??? Tomlin has to go!

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