In any game there are a myriad of plays that had they gone differently, the outcome could have been changed. To me there were 3 HUGE plays that spelled defeat for the Steelers last night. The first two were in regulation with the defense on the field and the third was in OT with the offense on the field. Typical of the Steelers season, there were 3 times (at least) that the game was right there to be taken and the Steelers shrunk from the spotlight.
1) 3rd and 22 for the BrownRavens deep in the 4th quarter. If someone on defense steps up and makes a play there, the game is over. To me this was the play of the game. If we force an incomplete or tackle someone after a short gain, then Baltimore would be forced to punt on 3rd and 20 with 3 minutes left. Steelers could have ground out the clock and tucked away the W. Instead the porous secondary allows ancient Derrick Mason a HUGE 17 yard pass completion.
2) 4th and 5 for the BrownRavens deep in the 4th quarter. This play has been discussed ad naseum in some other posts. Seeing Farrior on Rice, Flacco knows he will be open. Clarke and Carter whiff on the tackles and Rice is deep inside Steelers territory and after a FG the game is tied. Don't know what other DBs were lined up for the Steelers on the play that could have taken Rice? Farrior or any other LB is not hanging with Rice on 4th and 5 without a chip at the line.
3) With the Steelers holding the ball at midfield in OT on 2nd and 6 even Chris Collinsworth is begging for an innovative and creative play from BA and Dennis Dixon to move the Steelers into FG range and a major upset. The Steelers choose to throw a bomb down the sideline instead of exploiting Dixon's speed and legs which have already burned the BrownRavens for runs of 24 and 40. Or how about that nifty Mewelde Moore halfback toss for a big gain? On the next play Dixon is intercepted and the ball is returned into FG range. Steelers earn another L.