The Pittsburgh Steelers were really starting to come around into their contending form but then their sloppy play forced everyone to hit the brakes.
The gap between the New England Patriots is not exactly closed after the Steelers’ sluggish yet brilliant 31-28 win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, a performance that required a 23-yard sideline catch by Antonio Brown to set up Chris Boswell’s 53-yard, game-winning kick during the final seconds.
Officials that saw the catch were left with their jaws dropped in amazement. A catch like that, with 13 seconds left in the game, is worth some praise.
“Anything thrown his way is a catch,” linebacker Ryan Shazier said.
The Steelers have been attempting voraciously to rebuild their position and reputation and at times that appears to be a weakness at times. The Steelers defense also looked a bit discombobulated as the Packers drove 77 yards on 12 plays for Jamaal Williams touchdown with 2:02 left in the game.
“We’ve got to eliminate the explosive plays,” defensive end Stephon Tuitt said. “Then we’ll be a top-notch defense.”
The Steelers forcing the Packers three-and-out in the final minute helped seal the game for the Steelers, however.
The Steelers started to really gain momentum later in the third quarter, with Cam Hayward’s sack which took Green Bay out of manageable field goal range and a six-play, 53-yard scoring drive that was all Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.
All the stars played the way they should, with some mild hiccups along the way.
The truth of the matter is that the Steelers got a win, and that is good. A win is a win, however, the win should not have come at such a struggle.
“The last two series, [Brown] and I were just improvising and making plays,” Roethlisberger said. “That’s what is so special about him. … To me, the big story was the passing game. That was Le’Veon [12 catches, 88 yards]. They were trying to take away a lot of passes, and Le’Veon made play after play and bailed me out on checkdowns. As great as AB always is, Le’Veon was extra special today, too.”