The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped a home contest to the Baltimore Ravens in what could very well prove to be a season-crushing loss.
Well, the only thing I will say is this: In a game where Kenny Pickett goes down after the second offense series and knowing that the Steelers needed to beat the Baltimore Ravens in order to keep any playoff hopes alive, we simply ‘laid an egg’.
Once Mitch Trubisky came into the game in relief of Pickett, the offense sputtered particularly in the ‘red zone’. We could not get the run game on track, we gave up over two-hundred yards rushing, we had a blocked FG attempt, and had a seventeen-yard punt.
Let’s see what we learned on offense.
The Steelers offense moved the ball but turned it over when it mattered
When Pickett went out of the game, Trubisky entered the game. According to ESPN, the offense managed to gain some yards, a total of three hundred and twenty-nine to be exact; however, the offense only managed to score fourteen points.
The three INTs thrown by Trubisky were really the ‘daggers in the heart’ of any comeback attempt. Frankly, the INTs were both untimely and ill-advised. Look, I understand that coming into a game off the bench is not an ideal situation, but considering Trubisky is a veteran, that should not have been an issue.
It also didn’t help that we were only able to manage sixty-five yards rushing. Some of the lack of production could be attributed to game circumstances and being down two scores in the fourth quarter; however, some of the lack of production was simply a product of just not being able to run the ball.
We were only able to run fifty-three plays and lost the time of possession differential. When you don’t run as many plays as your opponent and you don’t possess the ball longer than your opponent and you throw three INTS, you generally lose the game.
Let’s see what we learned on defense.
The Steelers defense could not stop the run yet again
Just when we thought the Steelers defense was finally getting back to form in terms of being able to stop an opponent’s running game, in comes the Ravens, who ran for two hundred and fifteen yards. In a game that we absolutely needed to win to keep any playoff hopes alive, we give up over ‘two bills’ on the ground.
I realize the defense didn’t go into the game saying, ‘Hey, let’s give up over two hundred yards rushing’, but the fact that we were playing with our backup QB at home in a must-win game, is very disappointing to me that we reverted to not being able to stop the run.
Although we managed to hold the Ravens to just about a thirty-percent conversion rate on third down, the fact that we couldn’t stop the run sealed our fate. Couple that with turning the ball over thrice on offense and you end up with what transpired today.
Let’s see what else we learned.
The Steelers squandered a perfect opportunity to gain some ground in the standings
Make no mistake, the loss against the Ravens all but assures that the Steelers will not make the playoffs and will not end the 2022 season with a winning record. If those two things come to pass, we will look back on this game with disdain.
We could have and should have won this game. Despite not playing particularly well, we had opportunities to take the lead. Instead, we turned the ball over at inopportune times and could not find a way out of the hole we dug for ourselves.
This team needs to look at itself in the mirror and be objective about what we see. The coaching staff needs to look at themselves in the mirror and be objective about what they see. I can tell you what I see.
I see that Mike Tomlin will have some difficult decisions to make at the conclusion of the 2022 season not only about the future of some players but his coaching staff as well. I see that this team needs change. Change is not necessarily a bad thing but change sometimes can be difficult to make.