Just when you thought it couldn't possibly get any worse, the Pittsburgh Steelers managed to find a way to lose to a 10-loss team in consecutive weeks. Sure, injuries have abounded over the past several weeks. Playing without your starting quarterback in a handcuffed offensive playbook is never a recipe for success, even less so with Mitchell Trubisky under center. The losses at linebacker, inside and outside, and a one-handed Minkah Fitzpatrick don't do any favors either.
The Steelers are now 7-6 with a huge road game next week in Indianapolis that will be the ultimate decider in the team's postseason hopes, not that they've played like a team worthy of being there. If the NFL had a selection committee like the college world does, there wouldn't even be a discussion on Pittsburgh's eligibility to play beyond the first week of January.
But, before we get there, this game must be taken into account, in more ways than can be encompassed within this series of articles. There wasn't much good, there was more than enough bad and another collection of ugly performances for the Steelers in this historic loss to the New England Patriots in prime time.
The Good: Second Half Defensive/Special Teams Splash Plays
Mykal Walker might be the slowest skill position player on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster, but he executed a tip drill of a pass deflection assist from Elandon Roberts. Roberts deserves the bulk of the credit for most of the good that existed for the Steelers defensively, and he's playing with a bum groin.
Walker was able to secure the pick and get the ball inside the red zone for the Steelers' offense to tighten the gap after New England jumped out to a 21-10 lead. Naturally, the Steelers' incompetent offense went four and out, failing to register a point off the turnover.
The Steelers did manage to block a punt on the next drive, which did result in points for the Steelers. That was executed by Myles Killebrew, who made a solid effort to rectify last week's back-breaking penalties.
The defense stiffened up considerably in the second half, to their credit. Though the front didn't create the kind of pass rush fans would expect, they made stops to give the offense plenty of chances to win the game. Too bad the offense refused to do its part.