Atrocious officiating and poor field conditions taunt Steelers in ugly loss vs. Jaguars

Steelers looked terrible in Week 8, but awful officiating and poor field conditions didn't help.
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

From the very first drive of the game, many of us at home could tell that this was going to be a rough day for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Considering this was Week 8 of the NFL season, it makes their pedestrian performance all the more discouraging.

As usual, the Steelers struggled to move the football. They had an even 100 yards in the first half, but partway through the third quarter, that number actually dropped to just 91 yards at one point. Pittsburgh would finish the game with an abysmal 261 yards, per ESPN stats -- many of which came in garbage time. The Steelers now have the fifth-longest streak in NFL history without a 400-yard performance.

The 20-10 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8 was far more disheartening than the 10-point loss would even suggest. This team is atrocious, and the fans know it. If not for three takeaways by Pittsburgh's defense, things could have been far worse.

As bad as the Steelers played in Week 8, they certainly weren't aided by atrocious officiating and a terrible playing surface at Acrisure Stadium.

Refs and field conditions didn't allow Steelers to get into a rhythm

Let's start with the refs. Early in the contest, there were some very questionable calls from the officiating crew in the Steelers vs. Jaguars game. As objectively as possible, nearly every call seemed to go the wrong way for Pittsburgh fans.

On the very first defensive series, cornerback James Pierre was tagged with a big pass interference call. This came on third down and would have stalled the Jaguars'' drive. Instead, they gained a new set of downs and were able to mount a field goal on this position for the first points of the game. Pierre's coverage was nearly perfect on this play. There was just a bit of contact as the ball was coming in, but certainly not enough to warrant a flag.

This was hardly the only bad call of the game. The most egregious came when Kenny Pickett was driven into the ground after delivering the football. This looked far worse than the call earlier in the contest against Keanu Neal for unnecessary roughness on Jags QB Trevor Lawrence. In fact, the two were hardly even comparable. To make matters worse, Kenny Pickett suffered a rib injury in this play and was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the contest.

It wasn't just the refs working against the Steelers. Their own football field ensured that they couldn't gain any momentum in this contest. The field conditions at Acrisure Stadium were so poor that players for both teams were slipping and sliding all over the place. Pittsburgh's pass rushers routinely lost their footing when trying to get after the quarterback.

The bad field conditions cost Pittsburgh dearly at times. Early in the game, Diontae Johnson slipped on a play and couldn't finish his route. This nearly resulted in an interception by Kenny Pickett. Later on, the Steelers were about to score a touchdown, but Johnson slipped once again -- this time in the endzone. He couldn't make an adjustment for the football and Pittsburgh was forced to settle for a field goal.

There's no doubt that the rain and misty weather played a factor in all of this. But something we have seen far too often at Acrisure Stadium is that the field has been terrible when even mild weather strikes.

Steelers' awful performance is still inexcusable

Look, we can't excuse Pittsburgh's abysmal play in this contest. the Steelers were absolutely atrocious and they still deserved to lose. However, poor officiating and bad field conditions certainly didn't help them get into a rhythm.

Next. 3 Steelers who must be thrown out with the garbage. 3 Steelers who must be thrown out with the garbage. dark

To add injury to insult, Kenny Pickett and Minkah Fitzpatrick both suffered injuries in this game. We will keep an eye on them in the injury report this week. The Steelers' performance in Week 8 certainly did not inspire any confidence in us. This football team is pretty bad, and it's hard to argue that they are playing as well as their 4-3 record suggests.