Steeler Nation, the Steelers 2014 season came to a screeching halt as they lost to the Baltimore Ravens 30 – 17 in the AFC Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs.
The Steelers red zone problems on offense and lack of a consistent pass rush on defense helped to spell their doom.
Let’s now take a look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Pittsburgh Steelers playoff loss.
The Steelers seemed a little off in all phases of the game but there was one player who continued his consistent great play and that player would be WR Antonio Brown.
Brown had 9 catches for 117 yards including a key 44 yard play that gave the Steelers a chance to make a late come back.
The receiving core as whole played good with rookie WR Martavis Bryant collecting 5 catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown was Bryant’s 8th of the season. He has proven to be a great pickup and looks to have a bright future.
WR Markus Wheaton also had 5 grabs for 66 yards. Wheaton showed good progress in his second season and should only get better with more experience.
TE Heath Miller had 6 catches for 76 yards. Miller remains QB Ben Roethlisberger ‘s goto guy on third down.
All though all the above did good, it was not good enough.
The Steelers red-zone woes on offense once again proved to be a problem. Too often the Steelers had to settle for 3 points instead of touchdowns.
QB Ben Roethlisberger was harassed most of the game . He was sacked 5 times and threw two interceptions .
The Steelers offense turned over the football a total of 3 times and that just can’t happen if you want to win a big game.
The Steelers defense was unable to put much pressure on Ravens QB Joe Flacco and only came up with 1 sack and one turnover.
They gave up a couple of big third and long plays and just couldn’t get off the field when they needed to.
The bottom line is the Steelers failed to make enough big plays on offense and defense and the Ravens did .
With the loss of team MVP running back Le’Veon Bell. The Steelers became very much a one dimensional offense which allowed the Ravens defense to key on the Steelers passing game.
The Steelers defense lacked a pass rush most of the season and that exposed the weakness of the Steelers secondary in the end.
Moving forward for the 2015 season The Steelers need to improve their red-zone offense . As good as this offense was in 2014 there was too many times it stalled out in the red-zone.
On defense they must make major improvements in the secondary and find ways to pressure the opposing quarterback.