It’s Just That Kind Of Year!
When you win the turnover battle (+1 PIT), have more first downs (20 PIT – 13 OAK) and less penalties (3 for 12 yards PIT – 6 for 39 yards OAK) than your opponent you expect to win the game, but not if you’re the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers even played the Oakland Raiders close to even in total yards (276 PIT – 279 OAK) and time of possession (29:59 PIT – 30:01 OAK) . So how do you lose a game that was so tight and you led in key statistical categories?
First you let the quarterback–who is a first year starter and still raw, yet full of potential—scamper for a 93 yard touchdown, an NFL Record for a QB.
Pryor ran for 106 yards Sunday.Courtesy: Thearon W. Henderson
Then you miss 2 field goals–not blaming the kicker for the loss, but win you lose by 3 points and you fail to earn 6, you have to knit pick somewhere. Oh, don’t forget your 2 turnovers in critical areas and times. Roethlisberger threw 2 interceptions with the Steelers in scoring position and could have earned some needed points to aid the comeback effort. There you have it, that’s how you lose a game you should’ve and statistically won.
Just when the Steelers built some momentum after the bye week and starting to look like, well the Steelers—and creep closer toward the top of the AFC North—they give away this heartbreaker.
Of the 5 losses this season, there are those that fans and players could point to and say “we got beat by a better team.” Not on Sunday. The Black & Gold gave that one away and probably the season with it.
Pittsburgh is not going to win the AFC North. Cincinnati has a strangle hold on it now, as long as they don’t have an epic collapse. The Steelers only shot is a wild card birth, and if you look around the AFC, I don’t see how they can do it—unless they can win their next 9 in a row.
The AFC West is getting 2 teams in the playoffs. The Denver Broncos and the surprisingly still undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. Honestly, the San Diego Chargers still have a legitimate shot. That’s 3 teams there. The other 3 will be the divisional winners from the AFC North, East and South. So that’s the Bengals, New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. That’s your 2014 AFC Playoffs. They’re just playing for seeding now.
The Steelers proved on Sunday, that sometimes, it’s just not your year. Here’s hoping they’ll prove me wrong or at least finish above .500. Heck just don’t be last in the division.
There will need to be major changes in Pittsburgh this offseason, including several firings and cuts. I like Head Coach Mike Tomlin, I don’t want to see him fired. Todd Haley, that’s another story.
Another season like this will not be accepted. This isn’t “The Standard.”