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Issues pile up for winless Steelers



Published: Tue, October 1, 2013 @ 12:05 a.m.

pittsburgh steelers

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin describes himself as a man of “great patience.”

Might be time to lose it following the franchise’s worst start in 45 years.

The Steelers head into their off week 0-4 for the first time since 1968 following a 34-27 loss to Minnesota in London on Sunday, a frustrating 60 minutes that effectively ended any hope of a return to the playoffs less than a month into the season.

“It stings,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “It’s hard to talk about.”

The Steelers remain one of four winless teams in the NFL after the defense imploded against a second-string journeyman quarterback and one of the greatest running backs of this — or any — generation.

Matt Cassel passed for 248 yards and two touchdowns and Adrian Peterson rushed for 140 yards and two scores, building a 17-point lead before Roethlisberger led a furious fourth quarter rally that ended with a play that served as a symbol of just how frustrating things have become.

Trailing by a touchdown in the final minutes, Roethlisberger led the Steelers all the way to the Minnesota 6. Facing third-and-goal, Roethlisberger took a snap and looked for an open receiver. The pocket — as it has done all too often through the first four weeks of the season — collapsed around him. Roethlisberger fumbled, the Vikings recovered and Pittsburgh’s misery continued.

“I’m holding it out like a loaf of bread because I’m trying not to just take it to the ground,” Roethlisberger said. “They got it out late. Even if I’d held on to it, I don’t know if we would have had enough time.”

The Steelers haven’t missed the playoffs in consecutive years this millennium. At the moment, the idea of a miraculous recovery even in the wretched AFC North — where no one is better than 2-2 — seems far-fetched even for the guys pulling on the jerseys.

“We are in uncharted territories and the water is dangerous right now, so we have to stick together and get out of it,” Roethlisberger said. “We have to stay together.”

Not the easiest thing for a team unaccustomed to losing. The Steelers have been one of the most stable and successful franchises in the NFL for the last four decades due in part to their unparalleled stability.

That might change somewhat when the Steelers travel to New York in two weeks to face the Jets. While there are no quick fixes in sight, Tomlin indicated he’s not going deal with players who can’t help Pittsburgh turn it around.

“We are going to focus on getting better,” Tomlin said. “That’s what’s going to change the outcome of these football games. Those that don’t [work], aren’t going to be a part of us.”

The biggest moves may come along the offensive line, which hasn’t stabilized after losing Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey for the rest of the year just minutes into the opener against Tennessee.

Thought to be a strength in the offseason, the line has become a disaster. Left tackle Mike Adams was dominated by Minnesota’s Jared Allen on Sunday. Allen collected 2 1/2 sacks and spent half the afternoon in the Pittsburgh backfield. Kelvin Beachum briefly replaced Adams before moving to left guard when Ramon Foster left with a pectoral injury.

“I have to hope and believe we can turn it around because you have to believe we can still be part of something special,” Roethlisberger said. “I’m going to do the best I can.”


Comments

1canfcard(59 comments)posted 10 months ago

How cute, another 6 year old browns fan

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2Sparky(170 comments)posted 10 months ago

Knock knock?
Who's there?
Owen.
Owen who?

Owen 4 ....

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3philobeto(85 comments)posted 10 months ago

Now we have 2 six year old brown fans!! I guess we should cut them some slack since they honestly don't know what winning is or feels like.
Matter of fact, we can call it "winning envy", defined as, those who are envious of others who root for winning teams. In time these envious individuals grow accustomed and tolerant to losing over long periods of time.
And if a time comes when they do encounter a little success, they act out in an adolescent obnoxious manner, and can’t be taken out in public without causing embarrassment to themselves and to others.
As the Great Chuck Noll once said, “Act like you’ve been there before”

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4Sparky(170 comments)posted 10 months ago

Wow squeeler fans get sensitive fast! Poor little baby. Chuck Noll has been gone for decades ....get over him already....live in the now and the now is this team is not very good. I couldn't care less about the browns for your information but I love to see this pompous fan base cry, live in the past, and make excuses for their current failures. Dig in squeeler fan cuz crappiness will be around for a while....and for God's sake get ride of the mullet already!

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