- Jared Wickerham/Getty
The Pittsburgh Steelers blew a huge game to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night by collapsing down the stretch.
After leading 20-17 with less than 2:30 to play in the fourth quarter, Steelers kicker Josh Scobee missed back-to-back field goals that would have put the Steelers up by six. The Ravens then came back and hit a field goal to tie it up with three seconds to play, and the game went to overtime.
In overtime, the Steelers collapse continued with some questionable play-calling.
On the Steelers’ opening drive of overtime, they marched down to the Ravens’ 39-yard line in five plays, looking like they might get into the red zone for a game-winning touchdown. However, they got stopped three times on the 39-yard line, and when it seemed like they might punt, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin called a timeout and decided to go for it on fourth down with two yards to go for a first.
It didn’t go well:
- Via NFL.com
Vick got slammed at the line of scrimmage, leaving some to wonder why they didn’t give the ball to running back Le’Veon Bell.
The Steelers defense managed to stop the Ravens on a short field, and they got the ball back again. After another fairly successful drive to get back into the Ravens’ half of the field, the Steelers found themselves facing fourth-and-1 on the Ravens’ 34.
Instead of punting or attempting a long field goal in one of the most difficult stadiums to kick in, the Steelers went for it again on fourth-and-1:
- Via NFL.com
The Ravens then went down and kicked the game-winning field goal.
The meltdown for the Steelers was brutal. In their first game without Ben Roethlisberger (out for four to six weeks with an MCL sprain) the Steelers had a good opportunity to take a win over a division rival who was playing poorly and go to 3-1 on the season.
Instead, the Steelers are now 2-2, with a loss to a division rival, and their schedule doesn’t get easier from here. Over the next four weeks, the Steelers play the Chargers in San Diego, the Cardinals at home, the Chiefs in Kansas City, and the Bengals at home.
Those are all tough games, and suffice it to say a 2-2 outcome would be a positive for the Steelers without Roethlisberger. Nobody would be too surprised, however, if they end up going 1-3 in that stretch and suddenly find themselves in a hole past the midway point of the season.
If the Steelers do fall into that hole, they’ll look back at this game as one they wish they could have back.