Disappointing outcome: The Steelers lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 16-14, in a game Coach Mike Tomlin referred to as a 'disappointing outcome' afterwards.
"Man, a disappointing outcome, but really nothing mystical about it," said Tomlin. "We didn't do the things necessary to secure victory, particularly how these two teams come together and the nature of these match-ups, points are precious."
The Steelers lost quarterback Kenny Pickett early on, in concussion protocol. Mitch Trubisky stepped in and threw three interceptions, two of them in scoring territory.
"We turned the ball over when we were in scoring territory a couple of times, taking points off the board," said Tomlin. "You just can't turn the ball over, particularly in the nature of this match-up. Usually, the team that turns the ball over in the red area is the team that loses. They've turned it over some in the red area in recent match-ups and we've won those games. We turned it over in the red area in this one, so we lost this one."
The Steelers also failed to score when Chris Boswell's 40-yard field goal was blocked by Ravens' defensive lineman Calais Campbell.
"We allowed a known legendary guy to block a kick," said Tomlin. "He's probably the leading kick blocker, active kick blocker in the NFL, just get in there in the gap and blocked the kick, and then obviously we couldn't get the needed stop at the weightiest moment on defense.
"You do those things, you don't win. We understand that.
"We're disappointed. Disappointment comes with that."
The defense wasn't able to stop the Ravens run attack, giving up 215 rushing yards, including allowing J.K. Dobbins, who just came off the Reserve/Injured list, to rush for 120 yards on 15 carries, an 8-yard average.
"I just thought we wore down," said Tomlin. "The pile was falling forward."
Tomlin provided as much of an injury update that he had after the game, which included one on Pickett.
"From an injury standpoint, Kenny is being evaluated for concussion. He's in the protocol," said Tomlin. "I think when he became symptomatic, he was pulled from the game and evaluated for concussion. I don't know about the sequence or the details regarding the sequence."
"I think (Chris) Wormley has a knee injury. Don't know the significance of that. Obviously, we'll have that next time we come together. The rest are bumps and bruises associated with play."
Being aggressive: That sweet spot between shots not taken and opportunities lost due to an over-aggressive approach remained elusive for quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the Steelers against the Ravens.
"There's give and take," Trubisky acknowledged after throwing three interceptions in a 16-14 loss to Baltimore this afternoon at Acrisure Stadium. "There's definitely a happy medium you need to find. When you have a great kicker like 'Boz' (Chris Boswell) and it's a low-scoring game you just gotta be smarter with the football, and then a field goal keeps us in the game or helps us win it.
"You just gotta feel that and obviously I want those throws back. You want to stay aggressive at the same time. We were moving the ball and part of that was helping with that aggressive mindset. But I gotta take care of the football, bottom line."
Trubisky replaced starter Kenny Pickett for the Steelers' third offensive series after the rookie from Pitt entered the concussion protocol.
Trubisky threw for 276 yards and a touchdown, but wound up lamenting the three that got away.
The first was intended for tight end Pat Freiermuth on second-and-8 from the Ravens' 17-yard line with 5:47 left in the second quarter and Baltimore leading, 10-7.
Inside linebacker Roquan Smith came up with the ball at the 10 and returned it to the 29.
"They did a god job collision-ing Pat on the line of scrimmage, which made his route take a little longer," Trubisky said. "I stuck with him, probably could have done a better job with my eyes, looking off. When it just takes a little longer, two guys in the same spot (wide receiver Steven Sims was also in the area), I'll have to look at it to see exactly what happened but the linebacker made a good play.
"I was being aggressive, at times overly aggressive, probably forced that one, especially early on the downs. On first and second (down) I gotta take care of the football so we can come away with points down there, so that's on me."
Inside linebacker Patrick Queen intercepted another ball intended for Freiermuth, this one on first-and-10 from the Ravens' 23 with 26 seconds left in the first half and Baltimore ahead. 13-7.
"I kinda forced that one," Trubisky said. "When linebackers are getting depth like that there's probably somebody open underneath."
Trubisky's third interception was a deep shot to wide receiver Diontae Johnson on first-and-10 from the Ravens' 46 with 3:12 left in the third quarter and Baltimore still holding a 13-7 advantage.
Free safety Marcus Williams came down with the ball at the Baltimore 1.
"I wanted to take a shot downfield to Diontae," Trubisky said. "I thought he did a god job going inside, he was getting behind him (cornerback Marlon Humphrey) and stacked him. We ended up hitting it later in the fourth quarter going in the opposite direction. I just threw it a little too far and I gotta be better with my eyes. It looked like the free safety had a jump on it, that's why he got over the top there before Diontae did.
"I wanted to go down the field, take a shot and was too aggressive and could be better with my eyes."
Missed opportunities: The disappointment Coach Mike Tomlin referenced was also felt by his players, including linebacker T.J. Watt who knows the inability to stop the run game was a factor.
The defense allowed 215 yards, including giving up 120 yards on 15 carries, an 8-yard average, to running back J.K. Dobbins.
"They run a good offense," said Watt. "We just need to do a better job of being assignment sound and making plays when it matters the most.
"(Have to) look back at the film and there were tons of opportunities. That's always how it is. You never make enough plays. That's something that we're going to have to look at. But clearly, we didn't do enough specifically from a defensive side of things to put us in position to help win the game."
Watt wouldn't blame the defense for being worn down, rather pointing at just not executing the way he knows they are capable of.
"It's football," said Watt. "As a defense we take the field when we need to, regardless of what the situation is we need to hold them to as few points as we possibly can. I don't think we got worn down, I think it was just a factor of not executing when we knew -- everybody in the stadium knew -- what they were going to do, and that was run the ball."
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