Pittsburgh Steelers: Do you feel cheated?

Monday morning you woke up to headlines saying: “Blown penalty costs Pittsburgh Steelers playoff berth” or  “NFL admits the Chargers got away with penalty.”

That same Monday morning would’ve been completely different had you seen headlines exclaiming: “Steelers make playoffs at 8-8” or “Succop’s game-winning field goal boots Steelers into playoffs.”

Instead of Steeler Nation waking up grinning ear to ear and in the playoffs, Steeler Nation woke up feeling the Steelers’ hangover worse than ever.

An overall disappointing season has left black and gold country feeling lousy. Some hope was restored though; starting the season 2-6 then turning it around to 6-2 was somewhat encouraging.

It was last week of the season when everything went according to plan, playoffs for the Steelers was a kick away. Ryan Succop missed that kick though, and the refs missed the illegal formation on San Diego.

Kansas City Chiefs

Do you feel cheated? Did those blown calls cost the Steelers a chance at the playoffs?

Playing the blame game is dicey here. Yeah, the referees blew two calls that would’ve landed the Steelers in the playoffs but can we really put all the blame on Succop’s miss and the refs’ blunders?

No, we can’t. Most of the blame needs to go the Steelers. Let’s get real; the Steelers shouldn’t have put themselves in a position where they needed a miracle to make the playoffs.

Starting the season 0-4 is really where it all went wrong. Let’s remember that in week 1 the Steelers lost to the Tennessee Titans. Let’s remember the Steelers let Matt Cassel beat them up across the pond and who could forget Terrell Pryor’s 93-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage in the Steelers’ loss to the Oakland Raiders.

Realistically, if the Steelers could’ve won at least one more game against the likes of Tennessee, Minnesota, Oakland or even Miami, they’d probably find themselves in the playoffs.

A cold start for the offense and an inconsistent defense led to an 8-8 season. It’s frustrating though; there’s been some real flashes of a good team this season and then you look at the 0-4 start and scratch your head.

Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley seem to been doing just fine as the offense really began to click in the second half of the season. Antonio Brown has stated a strong case for one of the best receivers in the league. Brown’s numbers were outstanding and he’ll be playing in the Pro Bowl this year.

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If there was any doubt as to why the running game was lacking at the start of the season, clearly it was because rookie Le’Veon Bell wasn’t out there. Bell looks like he’ll be the answer for the Steelers’ backfield. Young and patient, the kid’s got a lot of potential for the future.

The defense may be the biggest downfall for the Steelers this season. The aging unit just can’t seem to keep their play consistent.

Guys like Ryan Clarke, Brett Keisel and LaMarr Woodley may be gone next season and rightfully so. Clarke’s past his prime, Kiesel continues to decline while Woodley remains injury prone. It’s time to get younger on the defensive side of the ball.

Blown calls aren’t the only reason the Steelers won’t be represented in the playoffs. We can feel screwed, because the Steelers did get screwed at the end of the season due to bad officiating, but it was the Steelers who screwed themselves early on that led to this mediocre season.

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  • kujo

    I’m very happy the Chiefs organization got what they deserved in the playoffs, when you a professional footballl team and you laydown in a regular season game..
    You deserve to lose in the first round of the playoffs..
    every team should leave it all on the field every game..

  • Katie Fonte

    yeah true but we did come back we may of started 0-4 but we should of ended in the playoffs if the refs new how to call penaltys right so trash us but we still made it farther then alot of teams that started off good so all i can say is we cant take all the rings but we can sure the heck try

  • Robert Alaniz

    This type of thinking makes me chuckle a little.

    We already knew we were 8-8 and started 0-4. Those were the facts however, to end the season the Steelers didn’t roll over. In a very unlikely scenario, they beat the Bengals and they beat the Packers and evened their record at 8-8. I think it was safe to say, they were playing much better.

    I for one was actually happy to see the 8-8 record after that 0-4 start and see that some of the new pieces to this team were contributing which gave a different feel to last years 8-8 finish. I had serious doubts about the .07% chance of making the playoffs and ho hummed about that again,,,actually having a positive out look first and foremost about evening out our record.

    Play off Sunday started with the confirmations that Andy Reid was going to rest almost all his starters and pretty much sealed what was a definite fate of missing the playoffs. I mean you have the Chiefs playing scrubs against a SanDiego team playing at home and who by the way beat the Broncos. The season is officially over before the first game begins today.

    I sat watching fox sports and the Schedule. Hmmm We have to beat the Browns, Bengals need to beat the Ravens and the Jets need to beat the Dolphins who are playing at home and gave the Steelers their last loss.The Chiefs/Chargers is the late game today I realized, as an interesting storyline was unknowingly starting to unfold.

    The Steelers were sniffling the Browns, The Chiefs were beating the Chargers with scrubs incredibly and after falling behind like the week be-fore’s win, the, Jets came back on the Dolphins Three quarters of the impossible happened as the Steelers beat the Browns (I wasnt shocked) The Bengals won going away as Flacco imploded at the end and the Dolphins offense could not do anything against the Jets D in a very close game and wound up losing. Hmmmm. Darn that Andy Reid, what a shame we would have actually made the playoffs if he played his starters I said before the game started.

    Then the last piece of the incredible story line started. The Chiefs backups came out ready to play and Reid was not going conservative with his play calling. Before I could say “No way” The Chiefs back ups with some nice throwing from Chase Daniels, running by their rookie RB and Rivers giving away gifts were winning against a Charger team that had to win to get in at home.

    After building I believe a 24 to 14 lead, the Chiefs stopped scoring in the last quarter and Rivers came back and tied the game as he was handed the ball back repeatedly. The Chiefs reserves did battle and held Rivers to a field goal to tie the game instead of a touchdown when Rivers had a first and goal.

    The Chiefs offense suddenly came back to life and drove down the field with time running out. A few conservative calls at the end pushed a field goal attempt back to 41 yards but…this was Ryan Succop for the win. Ryan went wide right and instead of winning the game the Chargers and Chiefs went into overtime.

    I normally would have went unbelievable wow, just wow! Except referee mistake number one happened with two refs right there missing an illegal formation. Nothing is guaranteed however if you tell me here is five thousand dollars for you to walk away right now or………Ill give you ten thousand if Succop makes a 36 yard filed goal or nothing if he misses. Id be all in on the ten thousand and Ryan is one of the better kickers in the league.

    That didn’t bother me as much as mistake number two. Inexplicably in overtime ( Or maybe because Daniels has been moving the ball on the Chargers defense) San Diego lines up for a kick off on their side of the field and weddle takes the ball and starts running for a first down. It looks like he just made it however he fumbles the ball and the Chiefs run it in for a td which ends the game and the miracle has happened, the Steelers are in the playoffs,

    Only, the ref calls the play dead, says his forward motion was stopped and the play wasn’t reviewable and the game continued. The Chargers as everyone knows went on to kick a field goal and the game was over.

    The absolutely impossible happening and ending with those two things is the only reason I feel cheated.

    The Browns didnt beat their rivals the Steelers to end it, the Ravens didnt beat the Bengals to end it, The Dolphins didnt beat the Jets to end it…..the refs ended an absolute incredible and unbelievable storyline.

    On a positive note, this ended up being an exciting season and the Steelers showed me there is absolutely no quit in this team and that there is promise in the near future.

  • mark black

    umm lets see…let me think about this.

  • Phillip Hutton

    How can we feel cheated at 8-8. Had we won 1 more game, we’ld be in.

  • hp b

    At least the poor haunted Bill Leavey can finally sleep at night.

  • Bob

    You know who feels cheated? The 10-6 Cardinals that didn’t make the playoffs.

  • Bob Graff

    Let’s get honest , The Steeler running game is what it is . The main reason we started slowly is that we were not prepared to start the season. , During a very important preseason with alot of work to do and little time to get it done the Steelers acted as if that wasn’t the case and and didn’t give the proper work to there 9-10 new starters. The fact is Bell’s ypc were a dismal 3.5 . He had a very mediocre season given the large workload that he had. His greatest strength is that his forward lean at the end of runs give him a yard or 2 of extra yardage. Don’t get me wrong he has potential but his season was average given his amount of touches. I believe we finished near the bottom of the league in rushing again. Pretending that we all of the sudden are a strong running team would be foolish..