The Steelers got dropped by the Chicago Bears Sunday afternoon by the score of 17-14. Jeff Reed missed two late field goals and Robby Gould knocked one through the uprights with 21 seconds to go to win it for the Bears.
What started out as a great game from the Steelers went sour pretty quickly.
The Steelers started the game off strong with a 92 yard drive after the defense forced a three and out. The drive lasted 8:02 and was wrapped up by a Ben Roethlisberger TD pass to Matt Spaeth. 7-0 Steelers and you would have thought the Steelers were going to roll, hell I thought they were going to make this a route. They did not. The defense did their part by getting another three and out but then Ben throws a pick early in the second quarter and thats where it started going bad.
How good was the first quarter? The Steelers had eight first downs and held the Bears to none and led in total yards 119-11. Pretty good quarter, I mean how do you do any better than that? You don't.
Just when things started going bad, the rain comes. When it rained in Chicago, it poured, in more than just precipitation. Ben could not get a grip on the ball and Tone couldn't catch a cold. What a terrible mess the second quarter was and then the Steelers just kind of slept walked through the rest of the game.
I talked before the game about how Danny S was going to have to have a big day in order for the Steelers to win. He did. Pinned the Bears at their own three before the defense gave up a 97 yard drive in 13 plays. That drive was kept alive by a horrific holding call on Lawrence Timmons to give the Bears a first down and let the drive continue. What a terrible call.
The Steelers actually got things going a little bit in the second half. Fast Willie had a couple long runs and Rashard Mendenhall broke off a 39 yard run to set up a Big Ben score for a 14-7 Steeler lead. The Steelers got the ball back and that is when Reed missed his first FG. After another Bears score the Steelers had a chance to win it with about a minute and a half to go and Reed missed another one. The Bears come back down, Harrison forces the Forte fumble and it bounces right though Ty Carter's legs right to a Bears player. It just was not meant to be I guess.
Lets take a look at a few things. The offensive line was very good today. Two sacks today but the first was on Ben. He got about five or six seconds to throw and just ate the ball and took a sack. The second one was a little bit out manned but overall there was great time in the pocket for Ben all day. Willie had creases and there will nice seams for all the backs. I was really happy with how they handled the blitz and it was a vast improvement from week one. Hopefully this keeps up.
Everyone wants to talk about how Jeff Reed missed two FG and that is why the Steelers lost. It was much more than that. I put this game on the recievers. The Steelers recievers are usually shore handed but today was bad all around. Holmes dropped a good share of passes including one he should have had in the endzone to probably win the game. What the worst play of the game was by far was Mike Wallace. Gets a ball on a second and long and gets within a yard of the first down marker then goes out of bounce. WTF were you thinking Mike? You get the first down we run the clock and probably either have it where we go for the win or have overtime. Instead you run out of bounce, don't pick up the first down and we have to try a 40 something yard field goal. Rookie mistake. He is going to hear about that one tomorrow.
It is clear that the Steelers need Troy back. On Denver's second touchdown Ty Carter was a little late on a third down play when Cutler threw it quickly as to know get sacked and it was a TD instead of a FG. Troy makes that play. It is just some of the little things that Troy does that we need to have back. He is only out another three weeks probably but this team needs him.
Can anyone ever hold James Harrison? I hate talking about officiating because it does not decide games but I would love to know what referee's think when they SEE James Harrison get tackled and decide not to throw a flag. I mean not just being held, being tackled. What has to happen for them to call holding? I just don't get it. It baffles me.
Well when I set out and looked at the schedule I figured this one was going to be a loss. I figured five losses for the Steelers and this was one. Sure I figured this as a loss but it still hurts really bad when they lose. It is going to be a long week.
More to come tomorrow about the game and how the rest of the AFC North did.
Here We Go