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A Bitter End To The Season For Steelers


The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2014 season ended in one of the worst possible ways; losing to arch rival – the Baltimore Ravens – 30-17 at Heinz Field in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs. A combination of sacks, dumb penalties, and turnovers led to the season-ending loss.

Coaching: The Steelers tried 3 running backs and none of them provided a soark. Offensive playing was conservative throughout much of the second half. There were not enough pass plays called in which the football was thrown at least 20 yards down the field. The defense blitz schemes only led to one sack,and only one turnover.  Special teams was not Special at all with no big plays in the return game.
Grade: D

Offense:  Running game was below average to say the least, which made the passing game predictable with only 68 yards rushing. Offensive line allowed 5 sacks, and failed to generate any push in the run game.  The interceptions late in the fourth quarter by Ben Roethlisberger hurt the Steelers’ chances. When you can run, block at least for 5 seconds and your play calling is conservative your chances of scoring 20-30 points are slim to none.  Grade: C

Defense: Struggled to get sacks, and turnovers with only one apiece  Corners allowed to many catches underneath, and did not tackle well.The defensive line struggled early in the first half vs the run. A dropped interception by Brice McCain was key, as well as pass interference calls, and unnecessary roughness calls.  No spark from the bench players or starters.
Grade: D

Special Teams: Shaun Suisham converted 3 of 3 field goals. No spark in the return game and. Shamarko Thomas’ blocked punt was nice but it was clearly too late.
Grade: C



  1. Jay

    January 4, 2015 at 4:26 am

    That’s why I could never be in that profession. I would never shake anyone’s hand and I would fire people for making mistakes like Beachum for the holding call…if I were a player, I would try to hurt people which is why I love Suh!

  2. DaveB.

    January 4, 2015 at 7:17 am

    This game is not hard to figure out . Leveon Bell’s absence led to no firepower on offense . In the end that led to way to many non scoring drives which in turn led to the defense being left on the field far to long . Once again , our defense was exposed when it counted the most . In addition , five sacks allowed by the offensive line didnt help matters at all . At the end of the day this team has alot of offseason work to do getting this defense back to where it needs to be . Its going to be a long eight months .

    • Donald

      January 4, 2015 at 9:04 am

      The defense wasn’t the only one that got exposed last night, so did Roethlisberger.

  3. DrGeorge

    January 4, 2015 at 9:55 am

    The Steelers 30-17 loss to the Raven in last night’s wild card playoff game on their home field illustrated everything we’ve been saying here since last year’s draft. The Steelers are an above average team, but they are not a Super Bowl contender. They play hard, but they simply lack talent at key positions. Those deficiencies will be discussed ad nausem between now and the draft, so for now, let’s focus on what can be gleaned from the game last night.

    The absence of L. Bell was not decisive, even though he is an All-Pro rookie RB. The Steelers replaced him with Tate and Harris, who together outgained the Ravens on the ground. Will Johnson, who was used once and converted on a critical short yardage play, looked better than both of them. Johnson deserved more carries. But that was not the decisive difference.

    As usual, the game turned on the play of the lines. Our D-line and O-line were unable to match the play of their counterparts on the Ravens. The Ravens D-line got to Ben R. all night, sacking him five times and forcing hurried throws that resulted in badly missed passes and two interceptions. The Steelers front seven – not just the D-line – sacked Flacco only once and forced no interceptions. The Ravens O-line protected Flacco well. Our O-line collapsed under the Raven’s D-line pressure, with Pouncey and DeCastro being pushed back into Ben’s lap on a some occasions. Here Bell was truly missed, for his pass protection; Gilbert and Adams need help at RT and Bell was not there to provide it last night. The superior strength and ferocious tackling of the Ravens defense showed up in turnovers, too. The Ravens had only one, while the Steelers gave up three, all of them at crucial moments in the game.

    Both secondaries are a patch work of back up players, due to injuries and age. Both are too slow. But the Raven’s secondary held up, while ours faltered, largely because of the Ravens superior D-line play and Ben’s inability to get rid of the ball quickly.

    At QB, it was a similar story. Ben R. actually threw for more yards than Flacco, but it was all between the twenties. When Ben was handed red zone opportunities in the first quarter, he failed to deliver, and the Steelers had to settle for field goals. At times, he even looked confused, unable to read defenses, and threw into double coverage or behind or over receivers. Even Gradkowski, his backup and a less gifted athlete, seemed to have a better grasp of the distributive role of the QB in Haley’s offense. Gradkowski played well, but he was soon replaced by a woozy Ben who promptly threw another interception in the end zone into double coverage. Meanwhile, Flacco – who is not a top tier QB either – managed to find the holes in our defense.

    Before the season, when Super Bowl talk was flying like fairy dust, I said the Steelers would be lucky to win their own division. I was right, but the Steelers were lucky enough to win it, thanks to a soft schedule. Then, before last night’s game, I observed that if the Steelers couldn’t beat the Ravens without Bell, they didn’t belong in the playoffs. Last night, they proved that, this year, they didn’t belong.

  4. jay

    January 4, 2015 at 10:58 am

    totally agree…so why are the ravens stocking up on elite pass rushers (in division) and WHY DON’T WE COUNTER with elite pass protection? I know we drafted 1st rounders in pointy and departs….but Gilbert is soft and way overrated and Adams is a bust…POint is, ben holds onto the ball too long and therefore needs elite pass protection because of this.! Our tackles are woeful 7th round picks and 2nd round busts who got paid! Thats why I opined in an earlier post that one of our first three picks should be an elite LT…because our supposed elite qb holds onto the ball too long and has his entire career. I put this on him as much as the ravens getting to him is a direct result of our lack of elite edge protectors. yes, the defense is pathetic but we kind of knew that coming in. to not be able to outscore those cocksucking ravens on our home field in a shootout with the better of the two qbs is beyond me! Tomlin needs to take much of this as well…penalties resurfaced at the most inopportune time. I refuse to watch the rest of the playoffs now unless detroit can do anything. and, oh, by the way, totally against domestic violence as anyone should be but those ridiculous, transparent, pathetic, see-through, plastic commercials where the players are “afraid” to talk about it is/are worse than the nfl’s play 60 campaign. it’s reactivity at its finest. its protecting the almighty shield and doing so in such a “cover our ass” kind of way that I almost wish I could find something else to do besides watch this hypocrisy and in your face political agenda setting in the most disingenuous type of way that I am now starting to hate the mere sight of the nil shield. Thanks Goodell and politics and fake, phony megalomaniacal 32 rich greedy bastards (owners)!

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