The Pittsburgh Steelers needed to win their game and the Baltimore Ravens to lose on Sunday to make it to this year’s playoffs. Unfortunately, the Ravens pulled out a tough victory over the Cleveland Browns and the Steelers’ season ended. To make matters worse, the Steelers have only themselves to blame for their self-inflicted wounds that cost them their season.
The Steelers started the season 7-2-1 and were rolling after a comeback win against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Jacksonville. Then, over the next three weeks, the Steelers ruined what could’ve been a great season.
It started in Denver during week 12. The Steelers played tough, but in their final drive of the game, Ben Roethlisberger threw one of the ugliest two-yard interceptions you will ever see. These things happen, but for a hall of fame quarterback like Roethlisberger, it was disappointing.
Things only got worse in week 13 for the Steelers. They came out on fire against the Los Angeles Chargers and took an early 23-7 halftime lead. The game looked like it could get ugly for the Chargers, but the Steelers offense sputtered, and the defense got ripped apart by Keenan Allen in the second half. They went on to lose the game 33-30, but sitting at 7-4-1, there was still no reason to be too concerned, yet.
Then, the impossible happened. Against the lowly Oakland Raiders (2-10 at the time), the Steelers fell apart. After going ahead 14-10 in the first half, the Steelers felt they were in the driver’s seat. Ben Roethlisberger was injured in the second half, but Josh Dobbs was expected to step in and do enough for the win. Well, that’s not how it played out. In fact, he did not even finish the game.
The Oakland Raiders went ahead 17-14 in the fourth quarter. Ben Roethlisberger returned and led the team back to take the lead 21-17. Then, Derek Carr picked apart the Steelers’ defense and scored a decisive touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Following this brutal loss, the Steelers finally began to play at the level they had been playing at earlier in the season. Unfortunately, it was too little too late. They beat the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals, but lost a tough game to the New Orleans Saints due to more self-inflicted wounds (fumbles).
The 2018 season is not one that Steelers fans will look at positively. Mistakes made by the players and coaches ruined what could have been a special year. Now, the team can only wonder what could have been.