Ben Roethlisberger had a gutsy effort but the Steelers offense turned the ball over four times and managed just three points in a 20-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night football.
Trailing 6-0 at half time, Pittsburgh was outscored 14-3 in the second half.
Roethlisberger in the loss threw 3 interceptions and lost a fumble, throwing interceptions on the Steelers first two offensive drives. Roethlisberger played the entire game and went 25 of 44 for 330 yards, 3 interceptions and one lost fumble. He posted a 52.3 QB RATING and was sacked three times.
Roethlisberger got more comfortable as the game progressed and the Steelers were able to move the ball at times on the 49ers but the Steelers were never able to capitalize and get close to the end zone.
Roethlisberger struggled mightily at planting his foot properly and being able to throw accurately on deep balls.
Despite many pundits believing he should have came out of the game in the first half, the coaching staff didn’t appear to have any concerns about Roethlisberger injuring his ankle any more,Â as Roethlisberger remained in the game during mop up time.
49ERS DICTATE TERMS: This was going to be a game dictated by turnovers and San Francisco won the turnover battle 4-0, improving to a league leading +25 turnover differential. The Steelers by comparison are minus-11 on the season.
Offensively for the 49ers, it was a perfect managed game playing mistake-less football and when Alex Smith took chances through the air, it was when Vernon Davis got a major mismatch against inside linebackers James Farrior and Lawrence Timmons.
“You know, i think we need to acknowledge that was 49er football, ” head coach Mike Tomlin said. “We [Â Steelers]Â played on their terms.”
FIELD POSITION: Field position was in San Francisco’s advantage by a wide margin as the Steelers neven began a possession past their own 30 yard line.Â Pittsburgh’s average starting position was the 15 yard line:
STEELERS STARTING POSSESSIONS: PIT 30, PIT 20, PIT 25, PIT 5, PIT 16, PIT 10, PIT 20, PIT 17, PIT 8, PIT 14, PIT 14
MISSED OPPORTUNITY: The Steelers quickly move out of first place and into the no. 5 seed in the AFC as the team squandered pretty much any opportunity of earning a no. 1 seed in the playoffs. The team no longer controls their destiny. They will need to win out and have the Ravens stumble once again to win the AFC North.
”We had an opportunity, we didn’t seize it, ” head coach Mike Tomlin said.
— Whether Ben Roethlisberger should have came out of the game in the first half will be a hot topic all week. Would the Steelers have been more successful with Charlie Batch? Judging by the offense putting up just 3 points, he could have not done worst from a points standpoint. However, this was just a bad matchup for a hobbled Roethlisberger who from a health standpoint should have not played as the big picture is being healthy for the playoffs, regardless of playoff seeding.
— 49ers rookie Aldon Smith showed what a special talent he is on national tv. Max Starks was no match for Smith as Starks just can’t matchup up well against premier speed rushers like Smith.
— San Francisco came into the game giving up 18 sacks in their previous three games. They gave up 0 tonight.
— Jerricho Cotchery had his best game in a Steelers uniform, leading the Steelers with 93 receiving yards.
INJURY REPORT: LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) was unable to finish the game…..MeweldeÂ MooreÂ was also injured in the loss….