If last week was redemption week for the Steelers, what, then, do you call what happened Sunday in Oakland?
Unlike last week’s win over the Jets, when the Steelers put the game away with a fourth quarter score, on this day the Steelers let the game slip from their grasp like so many footballs onto the Oakland Coliseum turf.
And make no mistake. Be it from the absence of Troy Polamalu or of James Harrison one too many times, the defense reached its breaking point. This D is not your typical Steelers defense. It is a-typical. Untypical. Untenable. And unable to stop teams when it matters most.
The Raiders’ last five drives read like an arena league box score: touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, field goal, field goal, the last, a game-winner with no time left.
Five straight possessions, five straight scores, and what makes it all the more frustrating, is the Steelers wasted what was one of Ben Roethlisberger’s best days as a pro.
Ben drove the Steelers with ease to Heath Miller touchdowns on their first two possessions.
Mike Wallace joined Miller in scoring a touchdown in every game this season giving the Steelers their first 10-point lead of the day.
Antonio Brown regained the 10-point advantage, but gave a sign of what was to come, recovering his own fumble in the endzone.
And so the Steelers enter the bye week with a loss, and will now have 14 days to let this one sink in.