The Pittsburgh Steelers struggled down the stretch this season, losing five of their last six games after starting the season 6-3. The losing streak will cause Pittsburgh to miss the playoffs this season for the first time since 2009.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger discussed the team's problems to end the season, and placed a lot of the blame for the struggles on his own shoulders. Roethlisberger told the media:
"A lot of it has to do with my play or not playing well down the stretch. I didn't play well enough."
Pittsburgh started to struggle after their 13-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Roethlisberger left the game after suffering shoulder and rib injuries which forced him to miss the next three games. The Steelers went 1-2 over the three games with Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch at quarterback.
The team lost all three games after Roethlisberger returned as the starter, and the quarterback did not live up to his own standards. Roethlisberger threw six touchdowns and four interceptions with an 82.5 passer rating over the three-game span, with two of the interceptions leading to game-winning points.
Big Ben did not blame his injuries for his poor performance, stating:
"Injuries are never fun, but I won't make excuses. I needed to step up and perform afterwards, just as I did before."
Pittsburgh wraps up the season Sunday at home against the Cleveland Browns.