The Pittsburgh Steelers had a chance to extend their season today, but it would require a little help. The simplest scenario would need them to defeat the Baltimore Ravens, and have the Houston Texans defeat the Tennessee Titans. By about 7:00pm ET, it was apparent that neither of these would occur. Baltimore handed Pittsburgh a 28-10 defeat, while Tennessee would go on a earn a 35-14 victory over Houston.
It was a rainy day at M&T Bank Stadium, which was fitting for how this game went for the Steelers. The Ravens were resting most of their big named starters, so it would be back ups that would lead the way. In the first quarter Baltimore collected six points off of Justin Tucker field goals. The first one would be from 45 yards and the second from 22 yards.
Pittsburgh would score their only touchdown, and hold their only lead of the day, early in the second quarter. Benny Snell Jr. rushed for a 4-yard touchdown with 12:50 left in the half. Tucker kicked a 42-yard field goal with a little over a minute remaining. The Ravens would get the ball back after a Devlin Hodges fumble, to set up an 8-yard touchdown run by Justice Hill
The lone score of the third quarter belonged to Chris Boswell on a 26-yard field goal with 9:55 remaining. The fourth quarter, along with the vast majority of the game, belonged to Baltimore. Tucker booted his fourth field goal of the day from 47 yards out. Jordan Richards recovered a fumble in the endzone for Ravens touchdown with 4:36 left in the game. The final points of the game came on a Hodges intentional grounding penalty in the endzone, which resulted in a safety.
Hodges was basically as bad today as he has been the past two weeks. He went 9-25 for 95 yards and was sacked twice. Snell was the offensive highlight with 91 yards rushing on 18 carries. The leading receiver for the Steelers was Diontae Johnson who had four receptions for 54 yards. On the defensive side of the ball Devin Bush led the team with 12 tackles, Joe Haden with one interception, and Cam Heyward and Bud Dupree each had a sack.
With the amount of injuries this team suffered on the offensive side of the ball this year it is pretty remarkable they managed to go 8-8. Hopefully Ben Roethlisberger will come back healthy next year, because this season showed up just how important the quarterback position is. Other questions will linger about the running back position, who the number one receiver is, and who will anchor the offensive line? Dupree is likely gone after having a big season in a contract year, but the majority of the defense should be back next season.