Steelers season finishes 8-8

Courtesy Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers season finishes on a low point with an inept performance with the only highlights on defense, as has been the standard all year.

In pouring rain, the Steelers playoff hopes were washed away as the best team in the NFL made light of resting some of their starters.

It was a horror show that began with a Steelers three and out and ended with Pittsburgh giving up a safety.

The bright spot on the Steelers offense was Benny Snell’s contribution of 91 yards. His 4-yard touchdown finished a drive of 75 yards that included Pittsburgh’s longest run of the game – his run of 19 yards.

The Steelers were heading to halftime with a two-point deficit, but when Hodges fumbled as he was sacked, Baltimore took full advantage scoring a touchdown on a short field for a 16-7 lead.

T.J. Watt added to his claim to be named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year with a forced fumble in the third quarter that led to a Chris Boswell 26-yard field goal. That was followed by a Baltimore field goal as the game entered the final period.

Any thoughts the Steelers could turn the contest around were dispelled as Jordan Berry fumbled a punt and gifted the Ravens a score. Hodges compounded Steeler Nation’s misery with an international grounding penalty that resulted in a safety.

The game will probably be remembered for the poor quality of the Steelers offense and John Harbaugh’s lamentable decision to go for a score as the game entered the last two minutes and the Ravens held an 18-point advantage.

Not just a bad day at the office for the Steelers, but a game that has left Coach Tomlin with many questions to ponder over the offseason. Is his offensive coordinator good enough and what does he need to address in the draft to provide Ben with an effective offense on his return?

The team’s 8-8 record may have been more than Steeler Nation hoped for when Ben was injured. There were ups and downs as the season progressed and for the organisation it highlighted once again the need to find Ben’s replacement.