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Chill out or Freak out: Week 12 Steelers vs. Seahawks edition

Just when fans started to relax, the Steelers made things interesting by dropping the ball in a few key areas.

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Seattle Seahawks in a game marked by mistakes, missteps, strange decisions, poor officiating, and a slew of other deficiencies. Some areas of concern from previous weeks resurfaced, while new problems surfaced.

Officiating- Freak Out

It isn't much of a consolation, but many teams have been livid about the state of NFL officiating this season. During Sunday's game, officials botched several key calls. One of the most blatant was a person foul on Lawrence Timmons whose contact with Russell Wilson happened while Wilson was still in the field of play.

Another controversial call happened when Antonio Brown was shoved to the ground by Richard Sherman. Somehow that wasn't pass interference. Since AB was down on the ground during key seconds of that play, Sherman was able to intercept the ball rather easily.

Officiating hasn't been this inconsistent and unreliable since the days of the replacement refs during the 2012 season. All officials make mistakes occasionally, but this year the bad calls seem both more frequent and more egregious.

The Secondary- Freak Out

Here, the secondary includes both personnel and coaching staff. Though the secondary had shown signs of tremendous improvement going into Week 12, the regression of the unit was worrisome. First, tackling was absolutely horrific. If Antwon Blake was injured or somehow unable to do his job effectively, he should have been replaced. It so happens that the Steelers have a backup on the bench by the name of Brandon Boykin.

For the first time in a long while, the secondary suffered from apparent confusion and lack of coordination. Receivers were frequently left undefended, while defensive backs were out of position. The unit has had several decent games. Hopefully they can regroup. For now, I'm freaking out about the state of the secondary.

Injuries- Chill Out

QB Ben Roethlisberger is currently in the concussion protocol along with ILB Ryan Shazier. Tight end Heath Miller had to leave the game with injured ribs. Is this cause for panic?

Shazier is a talented player, but the team has fared reasonably well without him when he has been absent. Roethlisberger is essentially irreplaceable, so it is important he recovers in time to play in Week 13 against the Indianapolis Colts. For now, there is no reason to expect that either player will be out on Sunday, so for now their injuries are a Chill Out.

Heath Miller's prospects for Week 13 are likewise unknown. Tight end Jesse James has stepped in admirably for the veteran. While James is no Heath Miller, he is able to block adequately and hang on to the ball when he is targeted.

Meanwhile, the offensive line has performed reasonably well without center Maurkice Pouncey and left tackle Kelvin Beachum. Veteran running back DeAngelo Williams has been absolutely phenomenal in Le'Veon Bell's stead.

The Steelers did not lose Sunday's game because of injuries. They lost the game because of avoidable mistakes and inexcusable deficiencies.