The Pittsburgh Steelers have been beaten twice by the Baltimore Ravens this season with their second loss coming today. The lost could be fatal for the Steelers, who needed a win and a New York Jets loss to proceed to the playoffs. Now, with their loss and the Jets win against the New England Patriots in overtime, the Steelers playoff situation remains quite unclear.
The Steelers did not look like a playoff caliber team, like they have in their past few games, against the Ravens. The Steelers were outscored by the Ravens 13-3 in the first half. Both teams kickers, Justin Tucker for the Ravens and Chris Boswell for the Steelers, scored field goals, with Tucker scoring two and Boswell converting one. The other Ravens score came from a Chris Matthews catch from quarterback Ryan Mallett in the first quarter.
The Steelers managed to outscore the Ravens in the second half 14-7, but it wasn’t enough to win the game. DeAngelo Williams rushed for 100 yards on 17 carries and scored the Steelers only two touchdowns of the game. However, Baltimore responded having Javorius Allen score a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
However, it was the defense for Baltimore that stole the show at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Daryl Smith and Jimmy Smith both had an interception off Ben Roethlisberger in the game. There was almost a third interception late in the fourth quarter by Jimmy Smith again when Courtney Upshaw stepped into the neutral zone. Had Upshaw not committed the penalty, Smith would have had a touchdown for the Ravens.
The Steelers thought that was their break and they could potentially score, but the Ravens defense had other plans. Their other plans included major coverage on Martavis Bryant, Antonio Brown, and Markus Wheaton, and even a sack on Roethlisberger by Upshaw. After another drive by the Ravens and another by the Steelers going unsuccessfully, the game ended with the Ravens claiming a 20-17 victory at home.
The Steelers now have their hands on a tricky situation. If the Steelers lose next week, their done. However, if they win and the Jets lose, there is a slim possibility, depending on statistics, that the Steelers could be in the playoffs. It’s between the Jets and the Steelers, as the Kansas City Chiefs claimed the fifth playoff seed with a win over the Cleveland Browns.
Next Sunday, the New York Jets will take on the Buffalo Bills while the Steelers take on the Cleveland Browns. Both games are both scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. EST.
Follow me on Twitter, @TheeMcKriger, for more news and updated on the Pittsburgh Steelers as well as the USMNT, USWNT, MLS, NWSL, and the NFL.