The Pittsburgh Steelers were defeated by the Cincinnati Bengals, 13-10, on Sunday and were eliminated from playoff contention. Our Steelers blog Behind The Steel Curtain reacted to the loss. The blame fell mostly on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who finished the game 14-of-28 passing for 220 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Last week it was a forced throw on the sideline in overtime, this time, Roethlisberger's errant pass and poor decision of throwing into two deep safeties burned the Steelers, who played perhaps their best defensive football game of the year.
The Steelers (7-8) are eliminated from the playoffs with the loss, one season after finishing 12-4, and having started 6-3 this year.
Injuries drug this team down, but the final game was decided by the poor play of Roethlisberger in particular, as well as some highly questionable coaching decisions.
The Steelers held the ball on fourth down with under two minutes to play. Staring at a 53-yard field goal, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin elected to kick anyway. Heinz Field has seen six successful field goals of more than 50 yards in its 11-year history.
Shaun Suisham's attempt came up short and after a Bengals punt, the Steelers had the ball, 44 seconds and two timeouts left. Roethlisberger threw an interception at the Cincinnati 44-yard line which was returned by Reggie Nelson to the Pittsburgh 46-yard line with 14 seconds remaining. A pass to A.J. Green on the next play set up Josh Brown's game-winning 43-yard field goal.
Roethlisberger threw at least one interception in each of the last three weeks after returning from injury. The Steelers are now out of the playoffs but still have one game remaining against the Browns before their season ends.