It’s almost like they understood that there was no way that they were going to beat the Patriots on the road so the Pittsburgh Steelers packed it in and headed to the golf course early.
In one of the biggest choke jobs in recent history, the favored Steelers and their 13-3 record crumbled in front of a stunned home crowd at Heinz Stadium in a 45-42 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars that nobody saw coming. Least of all the arrogant Steelers.
Many fans took to burning their team apparel after the “Kneelers” refused to come out of the locker room to stand for the national anthem in week three and there will likely be more black and gold garb getting roasted on the barbie after the egg that their team laid on Sunday.
One question going into the offseason is how could a team that struggled to put up ten points against the Buffalo Bills in a HOME game so thoroughly slice and dice the Steelers defense. If Blake Bortles can put up this number of points, Tom Brady would probably hang 80 on them.
Pittsburgh fell into a very deep hole early on, allowing the Jags to sprint out to a 21-0 lead and despite a furious comeback, could never completely catch up. Compounding the problem were two bad turnovers by Big Ben as well as an onside kick call that will have those who believe that head coach Mike Tomlin is a buffoon feeling vindicated.
Bortles played an efficient game, made the plays that he had to and didn’t get in the way of the Steelers as they self-destructed. Running back Leonard Fournette proved his value to Jacksonville with three touchdowns and over one hundred rushing yards.
Jacksonville’s stingy defense was shredded by Roethlisberger who threw for 469 yards and FIVE touchdowns – but there were those two killer turnovers, one a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.
The Jaguars were quick to jump on social media comments by Steelers players that disrespected them once the game was over:
Mike Mitchell on a potential rematch with the Patriots in the AFC Championship. pic.twitter.com/M4Pf8qWknU
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 10, 2018
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) January 14, 2018
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) January 15, 2018
The Jags will be gigantic underdogs as they head to New England next week and will be hard-pressed to spring a similar upset against a Patriots team that might as well start making arrangements for their Super Bowl championship parade.
Does Jacksonville have a chance? Sure, about as much as the choking Steelers did and maybe even more but NOBODY wins in Foxborough in January!
The Steelers proved that they are a poorly disciplined, badly coached, underachieving team that is overly dependent on two mouthy prima donnas (LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown) who can neither stay healthy nor focused when it comes to big games.
As the old Greek proverb goes – a fish rots from the head down and that head belongs to Mike Tomlin.