The Pittsburgh Steelers’ playoff possibilities took a major hit on Saturday with a 30-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in a sport that had large playoff implications within the AFC.
The Colts (8-6) not solely soar forward of the Steelers (7-7), it additionally provides them the large tiebreaker edge within the AFC wild-card race as a result of head-to-head win.
Mixed with the Cincinnati Bengals win earlier within the day, the Steelers now discover themselves on the surface of the AFC playoff area and persevering with what has been a shocking — and ugly — second half collapse.
Saturday’s sport noticed the Steelers soar out to a 13-0 lead and look to be in full management of the sport earlier than fully unraveling.
They turned the ball over thrice, together with two brutal interceptions from backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky, misplaced two extra key starters on protection when Damontae Kazee was ejected and Minkah Fitzpatrick was injured, and gave up 30 unanswered factors.
In addition they dedicated a number of expensive penalties, whereas Mike Tomlin made a baffling determination to punt contained in the Indianapolis 40-yard line whereas down by two scores within the fourth quarter.
It was a multitude. It additionally continues what has been a dreadful stretch run.
For the Steelers, it’s their third consecutive loss that has seen them fully fall out of a playoff spot after having what a transparent path to the postseason simply two weeks in the past.
They have been 7-4, held the highest wild card spot within the AFC, have been inside a sport of the Baltimore Ravens for the highest spot within the AFC North and had some of the favorable remaining schedules within the league.
That they had back-to-back dwelling video games towards 2-10 groups Arizona and New England, and have been going to play most of their second half schedule towards backup quarterbacks.
Beginning with their Week 10 sport in Cleveland the opposing quarterbacks on their schedule have been Dorian Thompson-Robinson (Cleveland), Jake Browning (Cincinnati), Kyler Murray (Arizona), Bailey Zappe (New England), Gardner Minshew (Indianapolis), Browning once more, after which closing out the season with Geno Smith (Seattle) and Lamar Jackson (Baltimore).
Lacking the playoffs with that state of affairs appeared virtually not possible to think about.
However they’ve already misplaced 4 of the primary 5 video games on the above record, together with each video games (at dwelling) to the 2-10 groups. Given the harm state of affairs and the way in which they’ve performed over the previous few weeks it isn’t a stretch to think about them shedding out the remainder of the way in which, whereas the playoffs now appear to be an excessive lengthy shot. In the event that they miss that might be seven consecutive seasons with out a playoff win in Pittsburgh and the fifth time in six years they did not win a minimum of 10 video games.
Sooner or later they should begin wanting within the mirror and asking themselves if they’ve the correct individuals in cost.