Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trampled in Overtime in Windy City Bears Running Game Dominates as Steelers Drop Another Game on the Road to a Heavy Underdog

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trampled in Overtime in Windy City Bears Running Game Dominates as Steelers Drop Another Game on the Road to a Heavy Underdog

Article excerpt

CHICAGO - On a strange day all around the NFL, from California to London, the Steelers provided a sense of normalcy in the city of big shoulders.

They went down in another big upset on the road.

Chicago, a 7.5-point underdog as more Teddy Bears than Monsters of the Midway after they lost their first two games following a 3-13 record in 2016, toppled the Steelers with old-school football Sunday that had to make Dick Butkus smile as he watched from his seat at Soldier Field. They ran all over the Steelers for 220 yards rushing and pretty much slammed what is supposed to be a vaunted Steelers offense that again went pffffft.

It all ended in a 23-17 overtime loss when the Bears won the coin toss and gouged the Steelers defense for 74 yards on four running plays, the final a 19-yard cutback by Jordan Howard for the winner.

That ran the Steelers record in their past 18 games on the road against teams with losing records to 5-13. It dropped them to 10-7 under Mike Tomlin in games which they were favored by at least a touchdown on the road.

Playing down to their opponents? Sunday, they played under them as their franchise record in Chicago dropped to 1-13. The Steelers put the Win in Windy City.

"Yeah, you guys call this every year," guard David DeCastro told reporters afterward. "And I'm trying to say 'Yeah, yeah, we're not going to do it again.' And we do it again."

And again and again.

"It felt like another game like that," DeCastro agreed. "I think it's one we'll look back on. Give credit to Chicago, they're a good team. I don't want to take anything away from an NFL team like that, but we didn't play anywhere near where we should have been and we're going to take responsibility for that."

It has become part of their culture. Steelers players said they did not feel their pre-game gesture of staying in the locker room for the national anthem had any kind of negative effect on their play. They thought in a way it brought them together. Some players wanted to kneel during the anthem, some didn't. They decided as a team to not appear for the traditional opening at all as NFL teams all over wrestled with their responses to President Trump's call for any player to be "fired" if they knelt.

"We cannot make excuses," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "I need to play better football. I will take this game on me. I did not play well enough."

He was right about that. Roethlisberger and his offense could not really get untracked for a third consecutive game. Roethlisberger was high and wide on throws and completed just 22 of 39 passes for 235 yards and one touchdown. He was not intercepted.

But his offense also had just one good drive in the game, a 13-play, 77-yard touchdown series capped by Roethlisberger's 7-yard scoring pass to Antonio Brown in the second quarter. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.