The Steelers had Super Bowl aspirations this season, but with one quarter of the regular season in the books, the team somehow finds itself tied with the Browns for last place in the AFC North.
Pittsburgh missed out on a great opportunity to carry its momentum over from the big road win against Tampa Bay last Monday, into a key divisional game on Sunday night. Not only that, the Steelers had the benefit of hosting the game, but the Ravens went into Heinz Field and absolutely dominated their most heated rival — limiting them to only 284 total yards.
The Steelers were held scoreless in the second half, in large part due to their third-down woes. Pittsburgh converted only two of 12 third downs, and it mustered a measly 4.8 yards per play in the game.
Not only that, the Ravens did a great job of mixing up their coverages to confuse veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who completed only eight of 17 passes for 50 yards in the second half. Big Ben never really seemed to be on the same page with Antonio Brown, either, as he targeted the star receiver 11 times, but the All-Pro was only able to catch five of those passes, for 62 yards. Roethlisberger was asked about it by reporters after the game, and he admitted that he and his receivers are a bit off.
“I don’t think I’m on the same page with anybody right now,” Roethlisberger said, via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I’m not playing well enough. I need to play better. Today was just a bad day at the office. We’ve all had them. I had one today. I promise I’ll be back to play better.”
Pittsburgh had better fix the issues it has on both sides of the ball, and soon, as Atlanta will be coming to town next Sunday. The Falcons’ high-powered offense has given opposing defenses fits, as they’ve scored 31 points or more in each of their past three games. Roethlisberger and his receivers — especially Brown — will need to get on the same page, sooner than later. The clock is ticking.