A Real And Spectacular (Failure), Steelers Lose In OT 23-17 To Bears

Nothing seemed to click today for the Pittsburgh Steelers as they were upset 23-17 by the Chicago Bears. The Steelers were brutalized on all phases of the field, struggling offensively, defensively and special teams. A game filled with crazy and underachievement climaxed with a walk off 19-yard touchdown by Jordan Howard in overtime.

Though the team was in it until the end, the Steelers offense mustered barely 300 yards of offense, while the defense allowed over 100 yards rushing to Howard. Factor in a 4/11 third down success rate and you have recipe for a typical Steelers’ letdown.

The Steelers foreshadowed their struggles from the opening whistle. On the first play from scrimmage, Martavis Bryant had a sure touchdown pass fall right through his fingers. Receiving partner Eli Rogers would double down on the team’s early troubles, muffing a punt leading to a quick Bears’ touchdown. The first time all season the Steelers have trailed during a game.

A 13 play, 77-yard drive to open the second quarter tied the game at seven points a piece. It was the usual duo of Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown that evened the score – the wide receiver’s first touchdown of the season.

With the score now 14-7 in favor of the Bears, the Steelers looked to cut into the lead with a field goal before the half. Unfortunately, Chris Boswell’s kick was blocked and Bears’ cornerback Marcus Cooper recovered, with nothing standing between him and the end zone. But in paying homage to Super Bowl hero Leon Lett, Cooper slowed down before crossing the goal line and thanks to an incredible effort by McDonald, the Steelers tight end was able to strip the ball out of Cooper’s hands. The ball took a couple bounces into the end zone before Steelers’ punter Jordan Berry swatted it out of the back of end zone.

This was just the start of the crazy ordeals that followed.

Originally ruled the end of the half, head coach Mike Tomlin had sent his team into the locker room. A few minutes later, members of the Steelers’ defense were rushing back onto the field as the play had now been ruled Bears’ football with first and goal at the one-yard line. Luckily for the Steelers, a false start caused the Bears to reconsider, kicking a field goal instead. In what could have been a 21-7 deficit was now a 17-7 deficit for the Steelers.

This lucky break would be the turning point for a Steelers’ team that had limped through the first half. After Bear’s running back Jordan Howard fumbled to open up the third quarter, the Steelers were in an opportunistic position to get back into the game. After moving the ball to the one-yard line, Le’Veon Bell punched it in from the goal line to make a one possession game. Bell would finish the game with 61 yards rushing, still seeking his first 100-yard performance of the season.

A fourth quarter interception by Wilcox helped the Steelers tie this game at 17. Wilcox jumped in front of an errand pass by Glennon to record his first interception as a member of the Steelers’ roster. A field goal by Boswell would tie it at 17 but that would be for Tomlin’s Steelers as the team looks to regroup at 2-1.

For a unit filled with offensive firepower and defensive talent, the team has underperformed greatly, a trend that they hope to snap as they are due to take on the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday at 1pm.

About the Author

Daniel Valente

Steelers fan from birth, spending majority of my free time looking up statistics. Had the honor of meeting Mike Vanderjagt shortly after his infamous missed field goal in the 2005 Divisional Round. Currently pursuing a Journalism degree. Follow me on Twitter @StatsGuyDaniel

  • SmellyHobo

    This makes me yearn for simpler times. Like when everyone was at each other’s throat over the anthem.

  • Michael Cunningham

    Karma ..
    newsflash Tomlin
    this is the USA
    the flag comes first or you’re down the road
    c ya …

  • Chris92021

    We are paper champions and only good for fantasy football purposes. We are pretenders. This is why teams like New England constantly beat us. The narrative of playing down to inferior competition continues. It won’t surprise me if we go into Baltimore next week and see the Ravens bounce back big against us.

    BTW this was shameful that the team couldn’t take advantage of several officiating gaffes in our favor. This run defense was worse than the Jay Ajayi game. Absolutely pitiful.

  • kdubs412

    How the hell do you keep harrison off the field virtually the whole game when you’re getting gouged on outside runs. Pathetic performance

  • Zach Bolen

    This was about the worst officiating I have ever seen every run 3 or so holds in plain sight, MB getting tackled before the ball is thrown on 1/3of the plays. Honestly I am incredibly disgusted with officials.

  • kdubs412

    How about all the teams that won who’s players kneeled, the flag didn’t stop them

  • CP72

    This offense needs a second playmaker. Bell has been just a guy. Martavis has been just guy.

  • C2K

    I’ve said it every year since his arrival. That Tomlin, he’s one hell of a coach.

  • afrazier9

    Losers list Steelers tackling

    Hubbard

    Running game

    Coaching (not playing Harrison)

    Oh yeah did I say defense

  • Jacob

    I know it’s often disregarded, but the Steelers historically rarely win in Chicago no matter how good they are. Some stadiums just have their number. I think it sbould be a factor in predicting wins and losses.

  • Michael Cunningham

    you don’t think bro .. ?
    watch how the season unfolds
    the fans pay the salaries babay
    watch .. and learn

  • Rick Lenzi

    Joey Porter needs to go him and Tomlin’s kids are buddies but Porter said what he was going to do in the preseason and guest what we needed a relief pitcher today

  • ayub

    In previous years I’d be frustrated with the youth, lack of talent, and injuries, but this one is a failure. It’s a long season but there’s no reason to lose silly games like this with all the stars aligned.

  • Dorian James

    Why do you even bother with commenters like this? Stop wasting your keystrokes

  • SmellyHobo

    Well Jeff Papiernik and Walt Dongo sure did pick the right day to disavow the Steelers.

  • kdubs412

    lol ok we’ll circle back here at the end of the season when the NFL isn’t popular any more because you’re triggered by guys kneeling

  • Applebite

    Howard avg 6yds per carry
    Cohen avg 6.5yds per carry
    Bell avg 4.1yds per carry

  • SfSteeler

    Tomlin and Ben on the road against da Bears!?…:(

    when the Ratbirds got shallakd, this game was over before it even started!

  • Reggie Cunningham

    Chick is not good against. I think his hot hands are now cold. Let’s get James on the field if Watts can’t return next week

  • Rocksolid20

    They are saving him . Horse crap .

  • steelburg

    Well said I was an advocate of keeping those young guys like Chickillo in the game as long as they continued to play well. But they were handled on the runs off tackle today. This was the perfect game to get James some time.

  • Vic

    The only defense that showed up today is the tomlin defenders

  • melblount

    On the bright side, this does afford us the opportunity to rank this latest Tomlin debacle against his other historic failures.

  • Charles Haines

    Not sure “upset” is the right word, this organization has sucked out loud against sub .500 teams for years.

  • Vic

    Blew the opportunity to have a 2 game lead in the division

  • Bill

    The trend will continue until Tomlin is gone. He hasn’t ended it to date: what makes you think he;ll do it now?

  • ayub

    This team cannot score 30 points. They have the talent but not the consistency.

  • Michael Cunningham

    don’t have to
    go tune in to the callers on Steelers Nation radio right now
    enjoy ..

  • Rocksolid20

    Come on man , but we had solidarity .

  • WreckIess

    Of all the things to blame the game on you blame it on that? Not the two huge special teams plays, not the fact that the offense never got going, and not horrible tackling. It was the fact that they stayed in the locker room. Also, “newsflash” Tomlin just said in his post game presser that it wasn’t even his idea. Do you realize how stupid you sound?

  • Dorian James

    ABSOLUTELY!!!!it’s almost supernatural

  • Reggie Cunningham

    Bad play. Calling. A lot of times down red zone I was calling for Watson. No change of pace of backs . The bears was successful at a change of pace

  • melblount

    Looks like Bell’s unique style is no longer unique and the league has caught up with him.

  • CP72

    If AB wasn’t playing out of his mind this offense would be pathetic.

  • steelburg

    Safeties taking bad angles and OLB not holding the edges hurt us bad today. The offense is not playing up to par either.

  • Kevin Artis

    Losers: The entire defense
    Winners: No one

  • Michael Cunningham

    activism vs. professionalism
    one was on display today
    the other was not
    guess which ???

  • afrazier9

    You have a right not to watch as they do not to participate. I served my country as a Blackman and still feel that People in this country are mistreated and given the shaft. We all as a people have the right to share our thoughts weather publicly or in your inner circle that is your right . The problem with the world is everyone feels they need to pass judgement on another.

  • melblount

    Lemme get this straight…We lost to the Bears?

  • gdeuce

    what does that even mean?

  • ayub

    It might actually help Ben if he wastn in there. He looks to him way too much when he’s covered.

  • kdubs412

    Yes, the yinzers screaming about it on the radio who will literally never stop watching are going to kill the NFL, good theory we’ll see how that plays out.

  • WreckIess

    Intelligence vs stupidity.
    One is one display in your post
    The other was not
    Guess which???

  • ayub

    2014 Bucs, 2016 Dolphins, 2009 Bears, 2009 Browns. Bad teams at the time.

  • Kevin Artis

    The Bears offensive line just dominated our defensive line. They have to be in the top 5 offensive lines in the league or our defense is in the bottom 5.

  • SfSteeler

    karma means good deeds, good effects and vice versa…

    the NFL players protest has nothing to do with wishing anything bad on anybody…

    please take some time to think and not follow blindly!

    this is called progress!

  • Kevin Artis

    What makes matters worst, the bears did not throw one pass on the last drive.

  • Bill

    It’s the offense that’s said to be great; we know the defense is marginal. But in reality so is the offense!

  • melblount

    They also did not throw a pass on their ~25-yard scoring drive.

  • Kevin Artis

    Let’s hope he doesn’t get hurt.

  • ayub

    The steelers create situations in the universe that only God can explain.

  • Michael James

    Meanwhile Brady and Belichick can’t stop laughing in Foxboro.
    Should have bet the house on Chicago today, a loss was inevitable, writing was on the wall. It’s so disgusting, really unbelievable. Against this Bears team without any real receivers, with their entire OL banged up, with Glennon at QB, with that bad secondary …. unbelievable.

  • Rick Lenzi

    Means if Tomlin is looking at that position objectivley Chick was terrible except for the sack where he wasnt blocked,, Sometime a head coach had to overide his coaches it was pretty obvious for anyone that knows football that chick was not holding the edge at all

  • ubjeepin2

    Watching this game and i realize in a second Chicago’s game plan on offence. After 3 games of steeler football i have no idea what they are trying to do.

  • Bill

    What happened to the “top five” offensive line?

  • Jay

    classic.. lol

  • Kevin Artis

    That’s the truth. As soon as it’s 3rd down, if AB is not open, he’s lost.

  • Michael Cunningham

    do it on their front lawn
    not their workplace
    you lose focus in your profession .. you pay for it
    and they will hear about it all season

  • melblount

    Well, at least we know it can’t get any worse than this.
    😉

  • Jay

    that will be about 15 years at least, barring a miracle

  • CP72

    Could lose to Jacksonville 44-7

  • John Noh

    They both sucked today!

  • Michael Cunningham

    sure thing .. peace

  • John Pennington

    Offense sucked and cant stop the run plus once again to many missed tackles no running game Ben does not look good at all.

  • melblount

    This was a game that a good team would have won 31-10.

  • Kevin Artis

    Can’t wait to see the “winners and losers’ list…

  • melblount

    Ben has not looked good in a long time. The high throws, constant forces to AB, immobility, untimely picks and most of all, an apparent attitude of not REALLY caring if we win or lose has me at the end of the rope with him.

  • Michael Cunningham

    lol
    don’t shoot the messenger baby
    and don’t let your anger cloud your intelligence
    that’s how football games get lost …….

  • Chad Weiss

    Three runs to run the length of field to end game. That was as bad of run defense I have ever seen in thirty years.
    It’s gonna take Alex a week to write missed tackles article this week. It’s not losing this game but the way they lost it .. This offense has laid an egg so farr as well

  • Charles Haines

    Yet another reason to simply stop playing it at sporting events. Or any other event not held on July 4.

  • CP72

    Blocked field goal a 6 point swing….

  • Rick Lenzi

    Reality Chicago out played us badly, more heart, more energy better game plan The offensive was supposed to carry this team hasn’t happen and I haven’t seen any evidence that things are headed in the right direction on that side of the ball

  • Kevin Artis

    Two of them were out. But that’s no excuse. Hubbard is a journeyman and Finney is okay. AV pockets are too heavy after he signed his contract.

  • Simon Cutts

    Every run left chickillo almost ran to the sideline. Leaving a huge lane. Bears just came back to it over and over again. Harrison would have set the edge properly. What on earth are the coaches watching. Porter must be watching a different game.

  • Daniel Valente

    I don’t want to think about where the team would be without AB. *Shudders in fear*

  • Brian Miller

    I’m pretty sure Goodell’s comments yesterday and players kneeling is passing judgement as well.

  • CP72

    Has Bell’s knee injuries robbed him of some explosiveness? He just doesn’t look as shifty.

  • Brian Miller

    Better be empty on the winner side…

  • Daniel Valente

    Well I mean a significant 2/5 of that offensive line was out today. Finney and Hubbard cant compare to Gilbert and Foster. Bigger problems to tackle than Oline.

  • melblount

    Please, let’s hear from ONE Tomlin sympathizer who can point to ONE good thing about his/his team’s performance today.

    Offense?
    Defense?
    Special teams?
    Coaching?

    OK, so it was an NFC opponent and the loss may not be as brutal in the end.

  • Pat Knotts

    Amen

  • Joseph Shaw

    Gotta say, Bell’s little gamble isn’t paying off. I would pull the $12 mill a year off
    the table. He’s going down on first contact a LOT.

  • Brian Miller

    Uh, at least Tomlin didn’t try and trip Howard on his game winning run?!?

  • melblount

    I looks to me that he is either playing to NOT get hurt, or defenses have caught up to his formerly unique style.

    Or both.

  • Brian Miller

    Maybe he will rap about it tonight…

  • John

    You’re not a Steelers fan.

  • melblount

    The offer IS off the table.

  • melblount

    Maybe AB will LIVE stream the locker room today.

  • Simon Cutts

    #30

  • SmellyHobo

    Everyone is just so angry today. I pity your wife (or husband) if they overcook the Sunday roast.

  • Kevin Artis

    This is his last year with us. Nobody can tell me that missing OTA, Training Camp and Preseason did not hamper him.

  • melblount

    As John Banaszak’s dad said to John when told he signed as an UDFA with the Steelers,

    “How am I going to explain this to your mother?”

  • Kevin Artis

    Teams has figured us out. Double AB and no one else will matter.

  • Michael Cunningham

    post of the day …. 😀

  • Kevin78

    You are not their employer so you have no say whether they should do it at their workplace.

  • Brian Miller

    If I wanted to root for a crappy team I would be a Bengal fan…

  • Michael Cunningham

    their employers run a business
    with income from the fans
    watch and learn bro ..

  • ryan72384

    We all knew the defense was probably going to be middle of the pack. And they are. This offense though. Omg are they bad. The greatest Steelers offense ever put on paper and this is what we get. Cinci fired their OC because the job wasn’t getting done. Just saying. Haleys seat should be very warm. Too much talent to look like this.

  • Michael Cunningham

    of course I am
    I was, and am however, an American first

  • KiJana Haney

    Bad game all around for the steelers. Luckily the easy games before the bye week are over.

  • Chad Sanborn

    Agreed. the officials missed a lot of calls on both sides. And then completely blew it at the half with that debacle. And stepping out at the end then missed holds on the last run, just laughable. they are not why we lost, but they sure didn’t help.

  • gentry_gee

    He disrespected the country’s terrible towel.

  • gentry_gee

    Guess which has been consistently absent against these garbage teams? Club is stale. Culture change needed.

  • Dee Evolution

    I disagree. We got plenty of penetration early and often. Our guys just aren’t disciplined enough to NOT over-pursue. On top of that, the coaching staff made no schematic adjustments to prevent off-tackle runs.

  • Kevin78

    That applies to almost all businesses. They rely upon customers who give them money for a service or product. So your theory is that because customers provide money, they can dictate internal rules of the employer. That is where your foolish argument takes you. Yeah, I am sure I will learn from your ignorance.

  • Chad Sanborn

    we have 3 losses in a row coming up if nothing changes. And so far nothing over the 3 games we have played shows me we are improving. Another 8-8 year or worse coming. Book it.

  • John

    And as an American you reserve your anger for grown men playing a game for millions of dollars not standing for a song? Do you honestly think this is a big deal?

  • walter

    Is our RB worth the millions we offered him?

  • SeventhHeavan

    Ben looks horrible. What is wrong with him? Why can’t they get vertical down the field? all those weapons. A lot of questions. Like why is Haley not using Bell effectively? He’s using him off the shotgun as a scatback. Line up in eye formation and run Bell Haley! He had like 12 rushes in the 4th quarter. And why are they not using Harrison?? Dupree and Chick are invisible almost the whole game. Why not put Harrison in there and see what he can do. WTF.

  • HiVul

    Agreed, this is who the Steelers are. There’s no team that can’t beat us in their own stadium.

  • John A Stewart

    Who are you?

  • John A Stewart

    BS

  • Roberto Vaquero Bazán

    Ben should be laid in his sofa, he said it, I am not comitted to play, and he is showing it!

  • barely_free

    The first play, deep ball to Bryant, was overthrown. Bryant didn’t drop it, Ben overthrew him by a foot.

  • barely_free

    Why do a bunch of overpaid athletes get to ruin the national anthem for all the fans. The anthem has been played prior to games for decades but it took one overpaid brat, Krapernack, to use it as a microphone for a political protest. He and the other ignorant players do not see how this disrespects America and all Americans- are you really that blind to what they are doing?

    Funniest thing was the players in the London game kneeled for the US anthem in protest and then stood for the British anthem. Wow these guys are ignorant, do they not know the history of the British Empire and what it did to Africa and slaves?

  • barely_free

    Yes they can and what do you think a boycott is, its customers making demands on a business. Hope I helped with your ignorance problem.

  • Kevin78

    There’s nuance there that you are not understanding. A boycott can be used to put pressure on a company, but that does not mean the customer should or does have a say in internal employer policies, particularly regarding employee conduct, which was at issue here. The NFL was fine with players’ conduct, yet the OP complained for the reason that it occurred at work. Read the whole thread fool

  • Ed Smith

    Except for Macdonald- that is the kind of effort the rest of this team needs to start displaying…

  • Ed Smith

    And a few weeks ago I got roasted on this site for pointing out all these concerns with Ben. Where’s Mr. Ninja “Black & Gold” colored glasses at now? I made the statement AB makes Ben and without him Ben is a mid-range QB due to his inconsistency. How many throws were off today: high, low, behind, overthrown?? I simply lost count.

  • Richard Cetrone

    Exactly, Chickillo getting kicked out on that misdirection play is going to haunt my dreams for a while. Not to mention the fact that the only players Glennon could consistently hit were the backs out of the backfield and the Steelers still refused to cover them. And the tackling, one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen from a Steeler team.

  • Charles Haines

    This isn’t about disrespecting America or a silly song (which was written by a slave owner) it’s about protesting the social inequalities that plague the nation.

  • SfSteeler

    i get that and at the same time, who, at there work place has a stage like this? and, professional sports are predominantly played by african americans, so, if they didnt take a knee, then i would see that as silent acceptance of the greater problem, which is a major problem to begin with…

    silent acceptance of any percieved wrongdoing plays a major role and allows it to creep into every facet of life for generations…