Steelers Thanksgiving game vs. Ravens comes out underdone

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Steeler Nation all sat down together at 8:30pm on Thursday night in the hopes of enjoying a feast fit for a champion.  A win would surely have put the black and gold in great position to make a run at the playoffs. Unfortunately the outcome was a game that turned out to be a little underdone.

The offense started off slow and was unable to mount a complete comeback late. It became glaringly obvious that if those rumors of Big Ben being traded are true, the Steelers have lost their minds.

Big Ben is the heart and soul of this offense and of the team in general. He’s carried them week in and week out and did so again against the Ravens. He doesn’t lose his composure, doesn’t give up on any plays or games and makes amazing plays on a consistent basis. Without him, who would get the ball to Antonio Brown or Heath Miller? Bruce Gradkowski? Landry Jones? Johnny Football?

No, nobody is better suited for this team than Big Ben. The fans know it, the league knows it and believe me, the Steelers know it too.

Ben was able to lead a furious comeback that ended up being a two point conversion away from sending the game to overtime.

Unfortunately for the offense, the defense and special teams were unable to make the plays necessary to keep the Ravens from scoring when it counted. The defense was largely unable to get off the field on third down. Countless Raven third and longs were converted into big play first downs. It’s hard to win games when the guys who are counted on to make plays don’t step up. The only player that could even make impact plays was Jason Worilds.

Worilds put up another phenomenal game, leading the team with 10 tackles, gaining the teams only two sacks and he had three of the teams’ four quarterback hits.  He’s rapidly becoming the best player on the defense, just in time for his free agent off season. The team should attempt to sign him now, he has finally arrived.

Aside from Worilds, it was hard to find a defensive player who made an impact play of any kind. One who certainly did not was Ike Taylor. For the third straight week he was burned by the oppositions’ top receiver. This time Torrey Smith torched him for six catches, 93 yards and a touchdown.

It’s unacceptable for the Steelers top corner to be consistently burned on a weekly basis. Taylor may very well be facing his final season as a Steeler.

The special teams failed to deliver this week too. The Shaun Suisham 50 yard attempt that wasn’t may have changed the outcome of the game. Why Suisham started to kick early is unknown but the true unknown is what could have been had he had a gotten the kick off.

The now infamous Jacoby Jones return certainly had an impact in the loss as well. To immediately allow a big return after a touchdown just can’t happen. The momentum swung right back to the Ravens and the game essentially went with it.

As a side note, for anyone who thinks Tomlin was standing there to block Jones on purpose, look at the footage; he was there well before Jones was ever in the vicinity. Should Tomlin have been there, no, but it wasn’t intentional.

In the end, the Steelers fell to 5-7 and now must win out to even have a shot at the playoffs.

When you start 0-4, losses like this are killer and unfortunately the Steelers had to learn that the hard way.

Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association http://www.steelnationassociation.com- Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at mike@steelnationassociation.com.

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