Good Day to You Steelers’ Fans.
The Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves in a spot of trouble today. After dropping a 33-30 home game to the Los Angeles Chargers, the Steelers are in a position where they must go 2-2 at worst to get into the postseason. The Steelers play at Oakland, home to New England, at New Orleans and a home finale versus the Bengals. The Ravens, who are now tied in the win column with Pittsburgh have a trip to Kansas City, home to Tampa Bay, at LAC and home to Cleveland. Right now the tie is actually helping the Steelers because they have one less loss in the loss column. Rest assured, this is coming down to the final week. Now, on to last night’s loss.
The officiating was bad. There I said it. It cost the Steelers seven points (on a horribly missed false start) and you could argue 15 points after a block in the back was not called on Desmond King’s punt return for touchdown. But… the Steelers helped themselves to this loss too. Make no mistake.
Why Keith Butler felt putting a linebacker on Keenan Allen was a good idea is beyond me. Terrible gameplan that got worse because he wouldn’t make adjustments. Personally I think this has helped seal his offseason fate.
In my opinion the biggest call of the game came in the second half as the Steelers drove down the field following the second half kick. James Conner ripper off a big run down the right sideline but it was called back on a hold by Ramon Foster. This was an awful call and it killed the drive. Had the Steelers put points on the board there the game likely would have been out of reach.
I have no idea what Ben Roethlisberger was thinking on that first half interception. The ball was horribly underthrown and was easily picked off by Derwin James. He just can’t keep making these type of mistakes.
Tweet of the Day… If this doesn’t speak volumes…
Keenan Allen was targeted 9 times when a Steelers linebacker was the nearest defender. No wide receiver has been targeted more against a linebacker in a game since #NextGenStats began tracking nearest defender metrics in 2016.#LACvsPIT #FightForEachOther pic.twitter.com/J4jOev3nER
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) December 3, 2018
We await word on the severity of James Conner’s ankle but I have to wonder why Randy Fichtner again chose to abandon the run as often as he did prior to that injury. On the same note, it appears that Jaylen Samuels is the clear number two running back right now. Can he carry the load if necessary next week?
Both Vince Williams and L.J. Fort are two of the best competitors on this team by far but they are also both limited athletically. Teams continue to find ways to get both of them isolated on tight ends and running backs (and of course WRs as we saw last night).
An argument can be made that Chris Boswell’s missed extra point was the difference last night. A 24-7 lead would have made it a three-score game and likely would have changed how the Chargers approached their point after touchdown decisions.
Credit Chargers’ OC Ken Whisenhunt for his play-calls on both two-point conversions. One took advantage of Artie Burns while the other used the Steelers’ aggressiveness against them.
Matt Feiler was eventually beaten by Joey Bosa for a sack but for the most part held his own. Marcus Gilbert has been a major disappointment in terms of staying healthy. He’s missed five straight games now a year after missing nine games during the regular season.
Outside linebackers T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree have been invisible in recent weeks. Neither is getting to the quarterback and don’t tell me they were “close” a lot last night. ‘Close’ only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
Great night from Antonio Brown last evening. Good to see him take some big shots and get up too!
Not sure about his overall performance but I thought Terrell Edmunds made his presence known a lot more last evening than in previous games.
Ryan Switzer is a tough son of a gun I’ll tell ya that. He took some shots last night than any mortal person would have not recovered from.
Don’t be fooled by a blocked punt or fake field goal. Danny Smith’s special teams’ units are a mess. At least three penalties last night and of course the 73-yard punt return TD surrendered as well. When Mike Tomlin reviews his staff in the offseason getting rid of Smith has to be on top of the list.
The Steelers now head to Oakland where they never play well. The Raiders gave the Chiefs everything they could handle yesterday. Do not expect this to be an easy win despite the Raiders’ record. A loss would be devastating.
(TRY) to have a good day Steeler Nation.
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