Did botched field goals and a controversial call aid Steelers to victory vs Rams?

Did the Steelers earn their fourth win, or was it gift wrapped to them?
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Harry How/GettyImages
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Another game for the Pittsburgh Steelers, another slopfest. As they typically do, the Steelers offense opened up the game by punting the ball on back-to-back possessions. By halftime, Mike Tomlin's team had mustered up just 3 points.

Fortunately, T.J. Watt gave Pittsburgh a spark early in the second half when he dropped into coverage, picked off Matthew Stafford, and returned it 24 yards to the 7-yard line. This allowed the offense to punch in the easy score.

The Steelers eventually went on a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter to close out the 24-17 road victory. Despite being underdogs against the then 3-3 Rams, Tomlin's team once again found a way to pull through -- advancing to 4-2 on the season entering Week 8.

Steelers had luck on their side once again

What's concerning is that this was another wild contest that required a bizarre turn of events in order for the Pittsburgh Steelers to emerge victorious. Rams kicker, Brett Maher, shanked two field goals and missed an extra point in this game. These botched opportunities by the Rams along the way could have made it much more difficult for Kenny Pickett and company to climb back into the game and take the lead in the fourth quarter.

The spotty field goal kicking wasn't the only thing working in favor of the Steelers. With just over two minutes remaining in regulation, Pickett ran a QB sneak on fourth down and clearly came up short of the first-down marker. However, an egregious spot call by the officiating crew led to the refs bringing out the chains for a measurement. Shockingly, they handed Pittsburgh the first down that ended the game.

While there's no guarantee that Matthew Stafford would have led his team down the field for a touchdown to tie the game with two minutes remaining and no timeouts, he at least would have been given a shot to do so. Instead, the game ends due to a terrible spot on fourth down.

These things obviously favored the Pittsburgh Steelers, so I don't want to complain too much. But if Mike Tomlin's team is going to win football games, I don't want the victories to come at the hands of mistakes by the refs and the opposing team. The Rams shot themselves in the foot just like the Ravens did in Week 5 prior to Pittsburgh's bye week.

Stats show the Steelers are still a bad football team

In a perfect world, we would love to see the Steelers sticking it to their opponent and earning wins in spite of the officiating, not because of them. Instead, we are looking a team that sits in the negatives when it comes to point differential.

Through their first six games, Pittsburgh ranks near the bottom of the league in almost every major statistical category They are currently 26th in points per game, 31st in yards per game, and 27th in yards per play. Remarkably, they've also somehow managed to be just 30th in yards allowed to their opponent as well.

I'll give Pittsburgh credit where credit is due: they did outplay the Rams in the fourth quarter on Sunday. But in terms of total yards, yards per play, rushing efficiency, time of possession, and third-down conversion percentage, it certainly looked like Los Angeles should have emerged victorious.

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I don't have an issue with the Steelers winning football games that they shouldn't every once in a while, but these victories are going to give Mike Tomlin false hope that he can march into the playoffs and compete with the top teams in the AFC with a poor game plan and no offense. It's just not happening.

Hopefully, Pittsburgh's Week 7 win over the Rams is a step in the right direction, but it certainly took some bizarre circumstances to help them secure their fourth win of the season.

All statistics courtesy of ESPN.

Next. The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Improved Steelers Win over Rams. The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Improved Steelers Win over Rams. dark