Rusty Steelers Lose Perfect Season in 23-17 Loss to WFT

Pittsburgh (11-1) missed a chance to clinch a playoff berth

Rusty Steelers Lose Perfect Season in 23-17 Loss to WFT
Ben Roethlisberger is pressured by Cole Holcomb of the Washington Football Team.
Getty Images

After nearly being ended by an undermanned Baltimore Ravens team last Wednesday, Pittsburgh’s unbeaten streak was snapped by another underdog, the Washington Football Team, on Monday evening.

The previously undefeated Steelers dropped to 11-1 on the season and blew a chance to lock up a playoff berth courtesy of a 23-17 loss to Washington and quarterback Alex Smith.

Favored by 10 points and playing at home, the Steelers were sloppy for the second game in a row, dropping passes and making mental mistakes. The final one came with 1:59 remaining when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was intercepted by Jon Bostic — a former Steeler — as Pittsburgh was trying to take the lead.

The Steelers got the ball back trailing by six, but Roethlisberger — who passed for 305 yards and two touchdowns — was unable to complete a Hail Mary and Pittsburgh’s last-gasp drive ended near midfield.

“It stinks,” Roethlisberger said. “Been a while since we lost a game. It’s not a good feeling. We’re getting to that point of the season when you’ve got to be sharp in all areas, your whole team, both sides of the ball. There can be all kinds of distractions, changes of this, that and the other. At the end of the day, we’ve got to go play good football.”

The Steelers will try to get back on track on Sunday night in Buffalo against a Bills team that just scored an impressive 34-24 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football.

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen threw for 375 yards and tied his career high with four touchdown passes as the Bills moved to 9-3 on the season and moved one game closer to winning the AFC East for the first time since ’95.

“We were clicking,” Allen said. “It just seemed like our guys were getting open and the ball was coming out of my hand really well.”

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