Let's face it folks, our Pittsburgh Steelers just didn't have what it takes to win an AFC Championship game yesterday. They were out-played on every level. Big Ben's passes weren't as sharp as they've been for most of this season. He either sailed them over the heads of the receivers, or didn't have enough on some of them to hit the mark. In many instances, receivers were suffering from 'dropitis', unable to hold on to the ball when it mattered. At times, they seemed as though they were moving in slow motion, or just weren't on the same page as their quarterback. The Patriots were successful in keeping Antonio Brown in check for most of the game. With the exception of DeAngelo Williams, the running game was nonexistent. Le'Veon Bell couldn't find his rhythm, and left the game in the first quarter due to injury. The offensive line as a whole was lethargic. Our kicker, who made six field goals last week to win the game single-handedly, missed an extra point!
And where oh where was our defense! It seemed as though they were running around in circles, usually behind #15 as he either made huge yardage, or worse yet, went in for a touchdown. Tom Brady had so much time he could have filed his nails before releasing the ball while the Pittsburgh defense grappled ineffectively with their opponents. Playing zone defense against the Patriot's quarterback was just plain stupid, yet Butler stuck with it throughout the game.
Yes, the Steelers were out-played, but what was apparent almost from the start was that the entire team seemed to be played out! There were no smiles, high-fives, or even general excitement. It was like watching the 'walking dead'! What was especially disheartening to me was their lack of passion, something that was key to their success over the past eight games.
Of course, I wanted our hometown team to win. Personally I can't stand the New England Patriots! But if we didn't beat them, at least I wanted to see a competitive effort. Sadly we lost, and I truly believe we beat ourselves. We were out-played and played out!