Steelers late game heroics fall short.

December 10th, 2021
by admin

The Steelers frantic fourth quarter comeback fell short, as the Steelers fell to the Vikings.

The Steelers were absolutely dominated for 42 minutes and pushed around the field. It is hard to describe how poorly this team is playing right now. The score didn’t tell the story as the Steelers were smashed and gashed for the majority of the game, while Minnesota held off another spectacular late game if unfulfilled Steelers’ comeback.

The Steelers had no answers up front on either side of the ball. Led by Dalvin Cook and his bad shoulder, the Vikings cranked out an astounding 242 yards (144 by Cook in the first half) on the ground and a mind numbing 458 total yards while scoring 36 points (29 Points in the first half). The offensive line gave up five sacks two of which were legitimately scary for Ben Roethlisberger’s health and had created no room for the the bottled up Steelers running game.

Ben Roethlisberger had a solid game when he had time to throw and he spread the ball around hitting six different receivers for 308 yards, throwing three touchdowns. Roethlisberger was clobbered in the first three quarters, then put together a monster fourth quarter, and came within one pass to Pat Freiermuth, in the end zone as time expired, from authoring the greatest comeback in NFL history. The team needs to get off to a faster start, but Roethlisberger’s effort shouldn’t be lost.

The receivers had big games however, this will not be the story. Chase Claypool had a great game as far as performance, but he had a costly 15-yard penalty, and he was preening after a huge fourth down conversion that cost the Steelers valuable time in the fourth quarter. He also was sent to the bench by Tomlin after the penalty. Claypool led the team in catches with eight and yards with 93. Diontae Johnson is emerging into a world class receiver. He also made a huge play giving the Steelers one more chance at tying the game, getting out of bounds on a big catch. Johnson finished with five catches for 76 yards. James Washington benefited from Claypool’s indiscretion racking up a touchdown and 65 yards while substituting.

Najee Harris had 94 yards on the ground most of which came in the second half and 10 yards in the air and a touchdown. In a dismal season, he looks like a franchise running back.

The defensive front seven once the heart and strength of the Steelers, is now it’s greatest liability. The Steelers were without T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith for most of the game, and for the second time this season, the defense was held without a sack. Cam Heyward had to eat several double teams and Chris Wormley and Montravius Adams were pushed all over the field, after both having big games against the Ravens a week earlier.

The secondary struggled for the most part. Kirk Cousins put up 216 yards and two touchdowns on only 14 passes. Cam Sutton was roasted for a 62-Yard Touchdown to K.J. Osborn, which would be the deciding score. Ahkello Witherspoon had a solid performance with two interceptions in his second start of the year. The reemergence of Minkah Fitzpatrick continues.

The special teams are just plain terrible again. Chris Boswell missed a field goal attempt, his second of the season, Pressley Harvin had another mediocre night, including an absolute 31-yard stinker and there was a penalty on almost every single return last night. Awful night.

The season is all but over and now the Steelers need to figure out what rebuilding looks like. Both sides of the ball have talent, but seem to lack any consistency. The Steelers need to improve up front first and foremost, with ten days between games, this is the week to find out what they have.

Beer We Go Steelers, Beer We Go!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Ahkello Witherspoon, who chipped in with two interceptions and is finally seeing the field after being acquired in a trade early September. Also Considered; Najee Harris who looks like a franchise running back, putting up good numbers with a banged up line.

Beer of the Game: Went with Boxer Ale again, good beer like I said last week, lousy result this time. D-man had A&W Root Beer! KGB went with wine.

“Steel the Snacks”: The plan was Juicy Lucey Burgers to “Steel the Snacks” but we had Sausage and Peppers for dinner and a side of pasta made by KGB, food was delicious and filling.

My Stat of the week: Najee Harris’104 yards from scrimmage on Thursday night broke the Steelers rookie record for a season. Harris has 873 rushing yards and 397 receiving yards for 1,270 yards for scrimmage in 2021, bettering the 1,259 that Le’Veon Bell had for Pittsburgh in 2013, with four games to go.

My Thoughts on next week: The Steelers will have ten days and Mike Tomlin assured everyone that “We’ll turn over every stone…” as they battle the Titans. There are so many holes in this team right now.

This week’s Jersey: Ernie Stautner, 70 Home Black, the Father of Steelers toughness, it wasn’t much help.

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