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What is the Steelers “Dud of the Week” in the loss to the Chiefs in Week 16?

Changing from a “who” to a “what” may be a more accurate description yet again.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers were huge underdogs going into Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday afternoon. While many thought the Steelers might be able to pull out the upset, it was going to be a tall task even though tight end Travis Kelce was not in uniform for the Chiefs. But the Steelers had no fight in them and were behind 23–0 by halftime. It’s one thing to lose a game, it’s another thing to get blown out and humiliated like the Steelers did in Kansas City.

So what gets the anti-game ball?

Highlighting the results of the previous week’s game ball , let’s check out the winner…

Week 15 Game Ball Winner: Joe Haden

Even though the Steelers managed Haden’s snaps in his first game action since the first quarter of Week 10, he made an impact in this game. Even though he only had two tackles, Haden did have one fumble recovery and what might have been the tackle of the game in order to hold the Titans short on fourth down in the red zone to seal the victory.

I do have to say how unpleasant it is to not give a game ball, but the circumstances call for it. I will remind everyone of the PAST rules that it is individual players who will be in the running. Although it could be applicable, it will not be either position groups or coaches who are eligible for this designation as they are more in line for Jeff Hartman’s Winners and Losers article. With such an unusual game and how it all played out, I’m going to look at things and not (necessarily) players to point out.

So here are the nominations for the biggest “Dud of the Week” in no particular order:

First Half Play Calling

Although play calling in general could have been used just as easily, it was magnified in the first half when the Steelers needed to keep the game from getting out of hand. The highlight has to be on fourth and less than a yard when the choice was made to pitch the ball backwards 5 yards to run horizontally. It was head-scratching.

Getting Pressure on the Quarterback

Whether it was by design or execution, the Steelers did not get pressure on Patrick Mahomes very much on Sunday. While they did get credited with two sacks, they only had three quarterback hits on more than 30 drop backs. On one touchdown, Mahomes had more than seven seconds in the pocket to sit back and find a receiver.

Blocking Anybody

I’m not trying to call out a specific position group, but this is calling out a specific position group. The pass blocking wasn’t terrible all of the time, but when Ben Roethlisberger is trying to run a fake and gets smashed because nobody touched an interior defensive lineman, it’s just bad. And in the first half, when the Chiefs weren’t just sitting back on defense, there was often nowhere for Najee Harris to run.

One-play Drives

Although one was late in the game, on two different occasions the Steelers turned the ball over on the first play of a drive. Talk about killing anything you can get going and putting your defense right back on the field, it’s just not good. And although they only had two one-play drives, they also had one two-play drive on their other turnover. Coughing up the ball is bad enough, but giving your defense only seconds on the sidelines even more excruciating.

I know I changed the rules again, but it just seemed to be appropriate to look at this game and the “Dud” from the standpoint of specific aspects of the game rather than specific players. Rather than pin it all on one person or one coach (for the most part), I felt looking at something that Steelers didn’t do well seems to be more at the heart of having this game over in the first quarter.

So what do you think? What deserves the “Dud of the Week” for the Steelers this week? Make sure you vote in the poll as this is how the winner will be determined. These were just the four I came up with, feel free to leave your thoughts and other suggestions in the comments below.


What was the Steelers "Dud of the Week" for Week 16?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    First Half Play Calling
    (472 votes)
  • 4%
    Getting Pressure on the Quarterback
    (54 votes)
  • 43%
    Blocking Anybody
    (525 votes)
  • 11%
    One-play Drives
    (143 votes)
1194 votes total Vote Now