Steelers Suffer Total Team Loss As Playoff Hopes Diminish

Ben Roethlisberger could play this weekYou’re blaming the defense right? And you over there, you’re blaming the offense right? Not to be outdone is the guy over there who claims the special teams cost the Pittsburgh Steelers today. Hey, you know what? You’re all right. End of discussion so let’s move on to why.

For the second straight week the Steelers’ destiny in 2013 mingled once again with a sideline. A week after Mike Tomlin’s guffaw, Antonio Brown was about to secure the Steelers most dramatic win since the Immaculate Reception when he stepped out of bounds at the 12-yard line.

This followed a series of laterals on the final play with the team trailing Miami by six 34-28 which was ultimately the final.

As dramatically amazing as the end was, let’s not forget that this was still a loss and the most devastating one of the season. At 5-8, the Steelers’ chances of making the playoffs are now slim to none. Every facet of this team had something to contribute to this loss too.

The offense, leading 28-24, could have put the game away but had two straight penalties called on the Dolphins side of mid-field forcing the Steelers to punt. Miami would drive 80 yards for the go-ahead and eventually winning points. They tacked on a field goal after the Steelers turned it over on downs deep in their own territory.

That wasn’t the only issue for the offense on this snowy and cold day at the confluence. Receivers routinely dropped passes and the play-calling and use of personnel once again left much to be desired. After a very productive first quarter, Le’Veon Bell all but disappeared in the second quarter and I don’t mean in terms of his play. He hardly saw the field which defied explanation.

The special teams’ unit which has been average at best all season saw Mat McBriar have punt blocked which led to points and the return game was basically a non-factor.

Defensively, the Dick LeBeau led squad continued a trend of giving up points immediately following a Steelers’ score. They also failed to create turnovers with the exception being Troy Polamalu’s pick-six and again didn’t get the pressure they needed on the quarterback. Speaking of the quarterback, the Steelers’ D was once again ripped by a QB on a read-option play for a 48 yard gain.

Why Dick LeBeau chose to bring only four or five rushers on a day where the ball was often slippery and snowy and ripe for potential turnovers was beyond me.

We’ve suspected all along that this team was just not very good. Today supported that fact. Yes there have been big performances by players at times but this team has failed in almost every way at some point this year. No one is without fault and that goes from the top down.

Let the draft talk begin folks.

Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 630pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.

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