Steelers blow it in New Orleans…playoffs in doubt!

December 24th, 2018
by admin

In what has been a microcosm of the season, the Steelers blew a fourth quarter lead and made too many mistakes to overcome the New Orleans Saints.

The Steelers played hard and were able to move the ball at will but once again turnovers proved to be the downfall. Clinging to a four-point lead Stevan Ridley fumbled on a third and short. It marked a big turning point in the game.

The Steelers held on and were driving when Mike Tomlin elected to try and keep the ball away from Drew Brees by attempting a fake punt. Roosevelt Nix was stuffed and the Steelers gave Brees a short field to capitalize on. He did with some questionable help from the refs. Brees was able to score and put the Saints in the lead for good.

Ben Roethlisberger made a valiant effort putting up his best game of the year. He finished with 380 yards passing with three touchdowns and led three consecutive TD drives. He put the Steelers into position to tie the game up, but a JuJu Smith-Schuster fumble ended the game.

Up until the fumble Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown had masterful games. They combined for 25 catches and 300 yards. There wasn’t much room to run and Jaylen Samuels had only 53 yards on 12 carries.

The defense surrendered the lead at the end of the first half with 40 seconds left before halftime and surrendered the game winning drive in the fourth quarter. There were two highly questionable calls that cost the Steelers dearly. The first led to the Saints first touchdown in the first quarter, the second was a garbage call on fourth down, that would have netted the Steelers victory. There was a third questionable call on the Steelers last drive, where New Orleans should have been called for pass interference but instead were given a holding call. That was a big difference on the spot of the ball.

The front was able to stop the running game for the most part holding the Saints to just 57 yards on the ground, but the pass rush was a step too slow and the secondary just couldn’t hold on giving up 326 yards passing.

Coach Tomlin is going to get crushed on some of the decisions. With the way the defense was playing, the fake punt was a smart coaching decision and he has put the Steelers in position to win all but two games this season. The execution is where the Steelers are falling short.

After a great stretch of the season where the Steelers looked like Super Bowl contenders, they are now on the outside looking in.



My “GAME BEER” goes to: Ben Roethlisberger who played a heck of a game and did enough to win. Also considered: Antonio Brown who was an absolute force.

Where I watched the game: At the house with the tailgate kids and KGB. The beer of choice was finishing off the Narraganset in the 1975 can! I was hoping it would bring some luck…it didn’t. We had Patty Melts and Perogies at half time.

My Stat of the week: The Steelers have now blown FIVE fourth quarter leads, resulting in a record of 0-4-1. If they split that, they would be comfortably in the playoffs fighting for a first-round bye. Now they need a win and some help to get in!

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers should absolutely throttle the Bengals and need a lot of help from the Cleveland Browns who will take on the Ravens. The near impossible has happened and the Steelers are on the outside looking in.

This week’s Jersey: Jack Ham, #59, 1935 Throwback Jersey (The Bumble Bee). In honor of his birthday.



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