Time to point fingers. The only problem is, it all seemed to go to shit in the final five minutes. So who’s to blame? Let’s start where it went wrong…
David Johnson dropped a 2nd down quick out from Big Ben. It hit him right on the hands, and he more than likely would have gained 5+ yards after the catch – which more than likely would get the first or very close. Instead the Steelers were faced with a 3rd and long and did not convert. Should they have gotten a first, the game would pretty much be iced.
Mike Tomlin delayed getting the field goal unit out, which then caused a delay of game before the Steelers could attempt a field goal. Steelers had to punt the ball. Is this the reason? (I’ll have more on this Tuesday)
Dick Lebeau changed the play calling during the final drive by the Ravens. The Steelers did a great job stopping Ray Rice and getting to Flacco. It was very difficult for them to find a rhythm and put points on the board. During the final drive, the Steelers went from bump and run with help over the top, to one on one with a five yard cushion. Ravens receivers were able to get inside and catch crucial 3rd down passes for first downs because the LB’s did not have enough time to reach Flacco – take the winning play for instance. William Gay played 3-4 yards off Smith (the fastest guy on the field). Gay never touched him and got burned. Clark misplayed coverage and was too late to help over the top. Ooops.
The Officials called a screwy game. The ball was never moved back from the spot of a holding call during the opening series which resulted in a Ravens field goal. They missed a clear helmet to helmet hit on on Hines Ward that kept him out of the game. They then called a personal foul on Ryan Clark for essentially the same thing. Gotta love inconsistencies. As per usual there were a few holding calls on Worlids, Harrison and Foote that were never called.
The secondary did a pretty good job until the end. Then, just like the Cardinals game, they let Boldin have free reign on the field making Flacco look like the golden boy completing pass after pass. I just about screamed my head off when Taylor let Boldin get inside on him to convert on a 3rd down on that final drive. Taylor is clearly faster than Boldin and cannot get beat on the outside, yet he cheated that way on coverage and let Boldin get inside for a sizable gain and 1st down. Kind of a silly mistake if you ask me.
So who is it Nation?