Coming off a defeat to the Seattle Seahawks, the Pittsburgh Steelers look to find where they went right and wrong in this previous Sunday’s NFL action. Here are the best and worst plays from Sunday’s game.
With the Steelers facing a 4th & 2 entering the 2nd quarter, coach Mike Tomlin decided to roll the dice and call for a fake field goal. As seen above, the Seattle defense was more than prepared and easily intercepted back up quarterback Landry Jones. The playcall for the back up quarterback to throw to an offensive lineman still has many fans in doubt. A huge gaffe for the Steelers as instead of settling for points, they handed Seattle the ball with momentum.
With the Steelers now trailing 7-3 in the 2nd quarter, Martavis Bryant (#10 in gif above) showed off his sprinter speed and took a reverse handoff 11 yards into the endzone for a touchdown. This wouldn’t have been possible without key block from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (#7) who lays a key chop block which allows Bryant to gain the edge and score.
The Steelers found themselves in control late in the third quarter until Ben Roethlisberger threw a costly interception to Ahtyba Rubin after the ball slipped out of Roethlisberger’s hand. This would just be one of the many mistakes that cost the Steelers.
The next play following the interception would see Russell Wilson connect with tight end Jimmy Graham on a 34 yard pass that would lead to a Seattle touchdown. An impressive bobbling catch by Graham would lead to Seattle closing the gap to only a 1 point lead for the Steelers. The Steelers defense must avoid giving up splash plays like this in the future in order to compete for a playoff spot.
The following Steelers drive would lead to yet another interception thrown by Ben Roethlisberger. A miscommunication between Roethlisberger and receiver Antonio Brown led to Roethlisberger essentially giving the ball away & Seattle taking a 26-21 lead. Miscues like this are not what you expect to see from a playoff contending team, let alone the 6-4 Pittsburgh Steelers.
Viewers at home surely had the same reaction as Ben Roethlisberger.
All hope was not lost as the Steelers quickly responded with a huge 69 yard strike to receiver Markus Wheaton. Plays like this are what you want to see out of a championship caliber team ; the ability to strike back and quick.
Unfortunately, the Seahawks also responded back with a score of their own. Russell Wilson connected with Doug Baldwin on a 30 yard pass that would put the Seahawks back in front. Wilson finished the day with 5 passing touchdowns, an area in which the Steelers secondary must improve.
Perhaps, it wasn’t a play but a lack of a play that truly cost the Steelers the game. With the endzone 5 yards away and the Steelers down by 5, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin elected to kick a Field Goal and not go for the win but instead put his faith in his defense to hold the Seattle offense. Part of this decision was due to the big hit Roethlisberger received on the play before (above). Roethlisberger was later diagnosed with a concussion.
That previous decision by Tomlin turned out to be a blunder as Russell Wilson & his Seahawks team put the game out of reach on the next drive. Wilson found receiver Baldwin on a slant route who then turned it up field for an 80 yard touchdown pass. The inability to get off the field on third down and missed tackles was a constant problem for the Steelers defense and was one of the key factors in their 39-30 loss.
A few areas could be pointed out for where the Steelers lost the game : the inability to stop the Seahawks aerial passing game, constant turnovers by the Steelers offense and a giant finger pointed at coach Mike Tomlin for more than a few questionable coaching decisions.