Now that we’ve had some time to go back, re-watch the game and dig in a little bit we are going to talk about a few things in the stats that really stood out for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their 28-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday was ugly in all phases. But some of these stats might be uglier.
3 or maybe 0
It depends on how you look at it, but either way, the distribution of the run game is worrisome. The three represent the number of carries running back Kerrith Whyte got on Sunday. He was the second-leading rusher on the team. Benny Snell Jr., by comparison, had 18 carries. But the zero represents the number of carries by Jaylen Samuels. I get the idea of going with the hot hand but Samuels hadn’t seen more than seven carries in a game since Week 10.
I suppose if you are the Pittsburgh Steelers and you aren’t going to make the playoffs you might as well go out removing any doubt if they deserved to be there. Pittsburgh completely collapsed on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens and finished off an ugly season with an ugly loss.
Here are our three big takeaways from the loss.
This defense was tired of trying to carry the offense
By the second offensive drive of the Ravens, you could already see the fatigue on the Steelers defense. This was partially to do with the 7+ minute drive the Ravens put together on their opening drive followed by a 44-second three-and-out by the Steelers offense, parking them right back on the field.
But more than that you can tell there was emotional fatigue set in all game long from a defense who was just tired of trying to pick up after an inept offense.
Steelers left guard Ramon Foster said he does wonder if he'll be brought back for a 12th season: "I know the reality of this. If they're gonna release me, just tell me while I'm in Tennessee. Don't wait. That's all I'd say, don't waste my time."
After Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers guard Ramon Foster was asked about what his future might hold if the Steelers chose to release him during the offseason. Foster is one of the smartest guys on the team and his answer reflected the attitude he’s given this some thought and is preparing for what might be inevitable.
Foster’s contract is backloaded meaning if the Steelers choose to release him they would save $4 million. With cap money already tight for the upcoming offseason, this one could be a foregone conclusion considering how Foster struggled this season.
As an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee, Foster has built himself into a quality NFL starter. Over the course of his first 11 seasons, Foster has amassed 145 career starts. Are Foster’s days numbered with the Steelers?
Mike Tomlin keeps it short and dull in his postgame press conference.
No matter what you think of Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, he is not the guy who is going to throw anyone under the bus for a loss. He didn’t veer from that philosophy this week after the Baltimore Ravens blew the Steelers out 28-10.
Tomlin addressed the media briefly after Sunday’s loss but offered little more than his usual canned responses about blaming everyone including himself and talking about taking care of the football. No real contrition or emotion for the gravity of the loss or the impact of the final three weeks of the season.
There are many fans who want to see Tomlin fired tomorrow. This isn’t going to happen. If anything, his ability to take a team absolutely hobbled by injuries to 8-8 and almost into the playoffs will make him a hero.
This is going to be a long and active offseason for the Steelers. Tomlin got a glimpse of the future and some of it was promising while others are more post-apocalyptic.
If you are going to end an ugly season, end it in the ugliest way possible.
Everything had to go right for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. And none of it did. The Steelers finish the season 8-8 after an embarrassing three-game losing streak to finish the season, capped with a humiliating 28-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
On a rainy day, it was vital for both teams to establish the run. Pittsburgh tried early in the game but once again the Steelers offensive line failed to establish the line of scrimmage aside from a single drive. This made the job of quarterback Devlin Hodges much more difficult. You can sit back and blame the absence of Ben Roethlisberger all you like but at some point the other players and coaches on this team should have figured out a way to generate some offense.
Defensively things went no better. The Ravens rested their starting quarterback, running back and two offensive linemen and still ran all over the vaunted Steelers defense. Even without Mark Ingram and Lamar Jackson, Baltimore had no problem just pounding it right at the Steelers defense.
There’s no denying how this team defied the odds to even be relevant in the final week of the season. But to end it like this stings.
The Pittsburgh Steelers went into Sunday’s game with the Baltimore Ravens understanding fully what was at stake. But it hasn’t mattered. On a rainy field, the Ravens reserves are pushing around the Steelers’ starters and Pittsburgh trails 16-7 at halftime.
No one expected an offensive explosion this week but 126 total yards at halftime and only seven points is not a playoff team. The good news is quarterback Devlin Hodges hasn’t thrown any interceptions yet. Unfortunately he hasn’t thrown many completions either. And he has a fumble the Ravens turned into a touchdown.
But if we assumed the Steelers offense would struggle, we expected more from the defense. The Ravens offense with reserves all over the place has had four scoring drives and seems to be moving the football with relative ease against a defense that fashions itself elite.
Can the Steelers figure out a way to get the offense on track? Or is this the end for the Steelers?
Inactives for the Pittsburgh Steelers have been announced as they prepare to take on the Baltimore Ravens. No surprises here as running back James Conner and center Maurkice Pounce have been out all week.
Conner’s season has been a disaster but he’s still likely to lead the team in rushing. Which just further illustrates how bad the rushing offense has been this season. It will be Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell Jr. trying to fill the voice once again.
In place of Pouncey, B.J. Finney will get the start at center. This leaves the team thin along the interior offensive line. If one of the guards is hurt, you might see Matt Feiler slide inside and Zach Banner takes over at tackle.
Here are the Ravens inactives. Baltimore is resting a host of starters.
After a miserable start to the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves in a position to make the playoffs if a few things can go their way. One of the big ones is for the Steelers to get past the Baltimore Ravens. Here are the keys to victory for the Steelers this week.
There are so many things going on to draw the attention of the Steelers away from their goal. The Ravens are playing reserves which could cause Pittsburgh to ease up. They are going to be watching the scoreboard all game long to see what is happening between the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans. But all they need to do it focus on winning the game by any means necessary.
If you are an NFL pundit, trying to pick the winner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens is going to be no easy feat. On paper, the 13-2 Ravens are the better team. There’s no debating it. But the Steelers took that team to overtime in their first matchup of the season.
However, the Ravens have made it clear they plan to rest multiple starters including quarterback Lamar Jackson and running back Mark Ingram. This should swing the advantage squarely toward Pittsburgh.
But don’t tell the NFL experts on the internet that. According to NFL Pick Watch, 62 percent of pundits are still picking the Ravens to beat the Steelers.
This is really a statement to just how bad the Steelers offense is. When experts think the Ravens backups can come in and outplay the Steelers starters in a game that means nothing to Baltimore and everything to Pittsburgh, it really encapsulates just how much the Steelers offense is struggling right now.