After further review: The devil's in the details

After further review …

One of the problems plaguing the Steelers, as identified by CBS color analyst Tony Romo, is the difficulty of following the plan given their current circumstances.

"They don't have any room for error," Romo assessed.

Another problem is the Steelers keep making errors.

Physical errors of commission on plays that are there to be made but too often aren't, and unforced, avoidable errors, ones that, in head coach Mike Tomlin's estimation, compound the degree of difficulty from week to week.

"We need more detail in our play," Tomlin maintained.

It wasn't cliche or coach-speak.

The emphasis on lack of detail shed light on one of the fatal flaws in Sunday's 27-17 loss to the Packers.

There were examples in all three phases.

The most obvious errors on offense were the two times quarterback Ben Roethlisberger just missed down-the-field shots to open wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, one of which would have gone for a touchdown and one of which could have resulted in a spectacular, catch-and-run score and at the very least would have provided a field-flipping big play. Roethlisberger blamed himself. Smith-Schuster blamed himself.

Both agreed on this much, as did Tomlin: Those plays are the type that have to be made.

Wide receiver Diontae Johnson also made a couple of mistakes in succession that exemplified what the Steelers have too often been doing to themselves during a losing streak that's now reached three consecutive games.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, third-and-4 from the Green Bay 37-yard line, Johnson caught a slant, got spun by safety Darnell Savage and then fought through an attempted tackle by linebacker Oren Burks. But as Johnson approached the line to gain he suddenly began to retreat away from oncoming linebacker De'Vondre Campbell and safety Henry Black.

A play that was on the verge of moving the chains or setting up fourth-and-very-short wound up gaining 0 yards.

On the subsequent fourth-and-4 Johnson false-started before the Steelers could go for it, and they ultimately wound up punting.

Those details are unrelated to play-calling, personnel or the relative strengths and weakness of the respective platoons and position groups.

So was free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick dropping an interception on first-and-10 from the Green Bay 46, when quarterback Aaron Rodgers overshot wide receiver Randall Cobb. When Rodgers throws you the ball you have to catch it, because, like deep shots that open up for potential big plays or touchdowns, such opportunities don't come around very often.

The margin for that error was a Green Bay touchdown nine snaps later.

That touchdown was scored by Rodgers, who scrambled for 4 yards through a gap between blitzing nickel cornerback Arthur Maulet and outside linebacker T.J. Watt.

Watt took himself to task afterward for "trying to do too much," and "trying to make too many things happen.

"You're just trying to make a play and sometimes you just gotta trust your teammates and I think that starts, obviously, first and foremost with me," Watt insisted.

The special teams weren't immune, either.

They almost made a play that would have dramatically changed the trajectory of the game late in the second quarter, only have Fitzpatrick's block, scoop and 75-yard return for a score on a 31-yard field goal attempt nullified by an offside penalty against cornerback Joe Haden.

Perhaps that's a play that should have stood.

But the holding penalty against running back Benny Snell on a kickoff return in the third quarter that pushed the start of a Steelers' possession back to the 8 was more impactful than controversial.

So was the 20-yard punt that ended the possession.

Details, details, details.

Rodgers doesn't need dropped-interception second chances.

And he doesn't need drives that require only 40 yards to convert into touchdowns.

There's no margin for that type of error.

And the Steelers made too many of those in Green Bay.

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