Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Little Details Are Big Problem

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Little Details Are Big Problem

Article excerpt

Twice in the span of three plays at the beginning of the fourth quarter Sunday, the Steelers were in position to put the dagger in the Cincinnati Bengals. And twice the Steelers committed self- inflicted wounds that helped the Bengals eventually win the game.

The first mistake came on the first play of the fourth quarter with the Steelers leading, 10-6. On first-and-10 from the Cincinnati 25, tight end Heath Miller was called for holding, pushing the Steelers back out of field-goal range.

After a 2-yard run by DeAngelo Williams, Ben Roethlisberger lofted a deep pass to Martavis Bryant in the end zone. A touchdown would have given the Steelers an 11-point lead with 14 minutes to go, but Bryant dropped the pass Roethlisberger put squarely in his breadbasket.

The Steelers were forced to punt and never scored again in the 16-10 loss.

The Steelers (4-4) know that losing feeling in close games all too well this season. They are 2-3 in games decided by seven points or fewer. A season ago, they were 4-3 in such games en route to an 11-5 record and an AFC North Division title.

"That's been our season so far," offensive lineman Ramon Foster said. "We have to correct that and move forward. We can't miss anymore."

Foster knows how Miller and Bryant feel after their mistakes shifted momentum toward the Bengals. In the third quarter, Foster was called for holding after Roethlisberger scrambled 8 yards on a third-and-6 to the Cincinnati 8.

The penalty moved the Steelers back, and, instead of possibly going up, 14-6, they had to settle for a four-point lead after a Chris Boswell 32-yard field goal.

Unfortunately for the Steelers, the Bengals weren't the only team to take advantage of some costly miscues through the first eight games.

The Steelers lost to the Baltimore Ravens by a field goal in overtime after several late mistakes in that game, including two missed field goals by former place-kicker Josh Scobee.

They also lost by seven to the New England Patriots in the season opener after some early miscues thwarted scoring drives in that game.

"We had a chance to close down the game last week by chewing up clock," Foster said. …

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