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Insider Only Steelers meltdown in 2nd half, suffer crushing loss

Chargers 33 – Steelers 30 (F)

Most crushing loss (regular season) of the Mike Tomlin era?

The San Diego Chargers rallied from a 23-7 deficit by taking complete control of the game in the second half and crushing the Steelers hearts with a final second field goal on a third try.

It wasn’t just that the Steelers lost at home for the first time in franchise history when leading by 14 pts, it was in the fashion they did.

Even with a helping hand from the refs and two major missed opportunities from Ben Roethlisberger, an woeful interception on a pass intended for Vance McDonald with the Steelers drive and Roethlisberger overthrowing Justin Hunter in the end zone with a defender not 10 yards from him, 23-7 at the half still felt like we were in for a repeat of Steelers-Panthers where the Steelers were going to easily have a 40+ point night.

A 16 point lead in today’s NFL at the half is nothing, but the manner that the Steelers dominated the first 30 minutes is what made the Steelers meltdown so stunning.

The offense couldn’t find any footing in the second half.

“We didn’t establish rhythm in the second half, couple drives killed by penalties. Holding penalties. Catastrophic,” said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin of his stalled offense.

The points Ben Roethlisberger left on the board in the second half haunted the Steelers greatly but the way Phillip Rivers & Co carved up the Steelers defensive scheme can’t get overlooked in Pittsburgh’s meltdown Sunday night.

Rivers was Brady like in how he saw a major mismatch in their favor without any resistance from the Steelers scheme wise.

How Keith Butler kept putting a linebacker on Keenan Allen from quarter 1 to the end of the game, including the 3rd and 4 on the final drive that setup the game winning kick was mindboggling but should we be surprised?

Allen torched the Steelers with 14 receptions for 148 yards and the Steelers were beat with this matchup before the ball was even hiked. Allen was constantly in a favorable 1-on-1 matchup.

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Pittsburgh decided to live and die with the zone and the rest is history.

Despite the strides this defense has made, somethings never change…..

— Visions of a bye?

The narrative for the Steelers with four games left in the regular season has gone from claiming a first-round bye to now holding off the Baltimore Ravens (7-5) to host a wildcard game.

The Steelers are going to be a playoff team. Even with the Patriots and Saints still on the schedule, this team is getting in but what also makes this loss so crushing is the decreasing chances of earning a first-round bye when a eight days ago the Steelers controlled their destiny…..

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About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

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