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Insider Only Steelers – Bears Fallout: A Protest followed by a dismal performance/OT Loss

Bears 23 – Steelers 17 (OT)

The biggest storyline out of a pitiful performance from the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday afternoon wasn’t muffing a punt and having a field goal blocked in the first half or getting gashed on the ground for 220 yards or the offense putting on a pathetic performance based on the opponent.

It was the Steelers deciding not to participate in the National Anthem.

The Steelers protested the actions of Donald Trump by making a statement of staying in the locker room during the National Anthem of Sunday’s 23-17 loss to the Chicago Bears.

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Mike Tomlin and a few coaches stood alone on the sidelines while Alejando Villanueva was the only player to stand for the anthem on the field.

So what came to the decision to bail on the anthem?

“It wasn’t my decision,” Tomlin said. Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

Tomlin was then asked about Villanueva being the only player to come out for the anthem.

“Like I said, I was looking for a hundred percent Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

Does Tomlin blame the distraction on the Steelers performance?

“I don’t,” Tomlin said. “I really think that probably more than anything, it minimized it as a distraction. Once we came to that determination it was business as unusual. The big thing is that we remain united.”

The Steelers playing down to competition has became a staple of the Tomlin era. It happens every year, it’s frustrating but it doesn’t always derail the Steelers season by any means.

Last season in week 3 the Steelers were blown out of the water by Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles. Pittsburgh would still go on and reach the AFC Title game.

Still, as bad as the Steelers defense was in stopping the run, this loss was all on the offense.

There’s just not something right here and there shouldn’t be any excuses.

The poor play on the road has been a combination of things

The o-line has been largely inconsistent through three games and the loss of Marcus Gilbert was huge in the loss to the Bears.

Le’Veon Bell continues to show no explosiveness in his legs and looks a step slow. Even with Martavis Bryant back, the wide receiver group is lacking a consistent No. 2 guy behind Brown.

Bryant took advantage of some mismatches in week 2 with the Vikings, hauling in 3 catches for 91 yards, but was non-existent for the second time in three games today, catching just two balls for 30 yards on 8 targets.

Juju Smith-Shuster has been beast in the blocking department and had 2 catches for 39 yards vs the Bears, including a 25 yard grab, but he’s not a difference maker yet as a receiver.

Bryant needs to be that guy right now.

Then there’s Ben Roethlisberger who remains very good but a trend is a trend when it comes to how he and this offense performs on the road.

It’s early but Ben has also looked like a 35 year old quarterback when you watch him at times this season.

The Steelers are a superman performance from Antonio Brown in week 1 of being 1-2 right now.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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