As I watched my beloved Steelers blow a 20-7 lead in a loss to the hated Baltimore Ravens, I expressions went from joy, sadness to pure anger. The anger comes from blown opportunity after blown opportunity.
Lets us count the ways…
First of all, let’s start with that sorry excuse of a kicker.
Josh Scobee, aka “Scobee Scrubee Scoobie Doo” (thank you very much Stephen A. Smith), went 2-4 on field goal attempts. His misses were the last two field goal attempts in regulation, 49 and 41 yards (!!!) respectively, could have put the game away for the Steelers. Instead, those misses allowed the Ravens to stick around and send the game into overtime with a 52-yard field goal of its own as time expired. After that, the coaches had no confidence in Scobee and as a result went for it twice on 4th and short in Baltimore territory. And speaking of which…
The second person I will blame is head coach Mike Tomlin.
While I can’t blame Tomlin for Scobee’s kicking woes, I will blame him for two baffling 4th and short calls in overtime. Tomlin, aka Omar Epps, somehow forgot that he employs one of the best running backs in football: Le’Veon Bell.
Let’s start from the top, shall we?
On the first 4th down in overtime, the Steelers had two yards to reach a first down. But instead of giving the ball to Bell, who rushed for over 120 yards last night, Tomlin allowed offensive coordinator Todd Haley (I really hate his ass) to call QB Michael Vick’s number and sent him on a QB keeper sweep. Unfortunately, the Ravens sniffed that shit out from a mile away and stuffed the play.
The second 4th down play call was the most heartbreaking and perhaps made me the angriest. It was a 4th and one from Baltimore’s 33 yard line. The aforementioned Scobee was sucking so bad, no one blamed Tomlin for keeping his sorry ass on the sideline. That was perhaps the smartest move Tomlin made all night.
One would think that a smart guy like Tomlin would learn from his first mistake and give the ball to Bell. Not only did Omar Epps refuse to put the ball in Bell’s hands, he allowed Haley to call a pass play – a PASS PLAY! – to stud WR Antonio Brown. The problem was Vick overthrew the brother.
And we all knew what happened after that. Baltimore drove into field goal range, made the field goal, game over.
Tomlin and the crew are going to be kicking themselves going forward. This was a game that could have put the Steelers in the driver’s seat and all but buried the Ravens.
Instead, losing to the Ravens did three things. It gave Baltimore much-needed life and. Second, it handed Pittsburgh a home division loss that placed it behind the 8-ball. And lastly, it widened the gap (at the moment) between the Steelers and the Bengals, who are 3-0 and rolling.
Tomlin needs to take one look at himself in the mirror and own this one (which to his credit, he reportedly has done). His Steelers blew that game thanks to him (and that sorry-ass kicker).