Morning Steelers’ Fans. Normally I’d say “Good Morning” but there’s nothing good about it.
The Steelers lost to New England 27-24 despite heroics from several players. In the end, the Steelers were done in by Rob Gronkowski and the instant replay system.
Antonio Brown left the game early and has been diagnosed with a torn calf muscle. He is expected back for the playoffs.
With the two teams at 11-3, the Patriots would need to lose one of their final two games while the Steelers would need to win their final two. I expect both teams to go unbeaten so yes, any chance of a Super Bowl appearance runs through New England.
Todd Haley worked an excellent gameplan for most of the game yesterday. With short passing and the running of Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers kept Tom Brady off the field. When he needed to be aggressive and smarter however he failed. The Steelers could have put the game on ice but conservative play-calling doomed them. Among other things (see below).
For his part, Keith Butler failed horribly. Sean Davis seemed the right guy to cover Rob Gronkowski but when it became wholly apparent he was not, Butler never adjusted. Davis would cap off his poor performance with a dropped interception that would have sealed the game.
Should Ben Roethlisberger have thrown that slant on the final play? No, probably not. Should pass interference have been called? There’s certainly an argument for that.
I honestly give up when it comes to what a catch is in the NFL anymore.
Tweet of the Day… Four your consumption.
Tony Corrente is the same ref who was involved with the ASJ debacle against the Jets. Game was also against the Pats ????
— Nick (@navy3427) December 18, 2017
You should be very pleased with the effort of the Steelers’ offense after AB went down. Guys from Martavis Bryant to JuJu Smith-Schuster to Eli Rogers all pitched in and helped out. Major doses of Le’Veon Bell helped too.
With the Steelers not playing until a week from today, hopefully the extra day helps them past this.
Great seeing Ryan Shazier at Heinz Field.
As he did last week, Mike Tomlin is giving the Steelers today and tomorrow off. I understand it this week with the extra day but I’m still not a fan of it happening last week.
One of the other real shames of the officiating at the end of the game is that overall this crew let the teams play. Entering the game Tony Corrente’s crew threw more flags than any other. Apparently a full 60 minutes of competent work was too much for them.
I’m not a fan of Ben Roethlisberger airing some of the things he does as he did last night after the game about the final play but…. he’s been around this long. He isn’t going to stop doing this any time soon and frankly, it adds more fuel to the fire that Haley needs to go and I’m OK with that part.
Tweet of the Day #2… This.
It’s bedtime but I’m still…. pic.twitter.com/Pzg05qVrhd
— Trai Essex (@TraiDay79) December 18, 2017
Perhaps, and I stress “perhaps,” the positive in this is that the Steelers will need to play their starters the final two weeks of the season. If they go 2-0 against Houston and Cleveland they lock up the #2 seed. Should the Patriots stumble they could grab the one. Had they won last night, they likely would have rested starters in week 17 which means that with the bye week those guys wouldn’t have played serious minutes for three weeks.
Tony Romo was correct about the final play. Throwing a slant there brings in too many people because you’re already in a tight formation. With no timeouts, the threat of a run there was little to none.
It would be really nice to someday play the Pats with our entire compliment of star players. Just once… Too much to ask?
I’ve been at work for an hour and 20 minutes. “You guys got robbed” or something akin to that has been said to me at least a dozen times already. It doesn’t make me feel any better I can tell you that.
Do your best to have a great day Steeler Nation! The season is far from lost.