Game action as the Steelers traveled to M&T Bank Stadium to take on the Ravens in Week 16.
BALTIMORE - Wide receiver Antonio Brown remembered all too well being in the uncomfortable position the Steelers' 20-17 loss to the Ravens created with one regular-season week remaining.
And Brown didn't much care for it.
"You see how that went in 2013, sitting at home and seeing if Kansas City was going to pull through," Brown recalled of what ended up as an 8-8, non-playoff season. "We gotta take care of our own business and not rely on other people.
"If you rely on others there's a chance you get let down."
The Steelers arrived at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday secure in the knowledge they'd make the playoffs if they won their final two regular-season games.
They exited the facility knowing they'll have to win this coming Sunday at Cleveland and that still might not be enough.
"All we can do is tune everybody out and just focus on the Cleveland Browns," defensive end Cam Heyward said. "It (stinks) that we need another team to do our bidding for us. It's hard to look outside and say 'please do the job for us.' You never want to go into a situation like that.
"I just hope we get another chance, but it disturbs me to know that as a leader of this team I didn't get the job done."
TURNOVERS/TAKEAWAYS TELL THE TALE, AGAIN: The Steelers engaged the 4-10 Ravens with an overall record of 9-5 that included a mark of 0-3 when they failed to generate a takeaway (at New England, at Kansas City, at Seattle).
Now they're 0-4 when that doesn't happen.
"We didn't secure the ball. We didn't get the ball," head coach Mike Tomlin observed. "So we were minus 2 (in takeaway/giveaway), or you could view it as minus 3 with the turnover on downs on the first possession of the game where we didn't get points. That creates an atmosphere for what just happened.
"So give those guys credit, man, they did what was necessary to win. They made the critical plays, particularly in the turnover game. They took care of the ball, we didn't. Hopefully, if given an opportunity to learn from this, man, we learn that hard lesson moving forward."
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was intercepted twice, both on throws to Brown.
"The first one, I have 'A.B.' down the middle and you never throw a ball down the middle short," Roethlisberger said. "I gave (linebacker Daryl Smith) a couple inches and he makes the play.
"The second one to 'A.B.' was a pass that we've completed thousands of times and I didn't put it outside, probably, a few more inches. (Cornerback Jimmy Smith) made a good play, don't get me wrong. But a few more inches outside and it's not a pick."
A TOUCHDOWN UNTIL IT WASN'T: Brown thought he had six points on second-and-6 from the Ravens' 16-yard line on the first play of the second quarter.
The officiating crew did, too, and signaled touchdown.
But after a relay review the ruling on the field was changed and the pass was called incomplete.
"I thought it was good," Brown said. "I secured the ball, I got two (feet) down (in bounds). The ref told me he thought it was good but he said the people in New York (reviewing the replay) thought it wasn't."
LACKING MORE THAN TURNOVERS: The Ravens, with recently-signed quarterback Ryan Mallett at the helm, converted nine of 18 third downs (50 percent) and averaged 5.3 yards per offensive play, just as the Steelers did.
Mallett was sacked once and threw for a career-high 274 yards in his seventh NFL start and the Ravens rushed for 121 yards while possessing the ball for 34:20.
Heyward found all of that hard to stomach.
"We didn't get off the field when we needed to," he said. "We didn't tackle well. We didn't rally to the ball. We didn't apply pressure. We didn't stop the run well enough.
"You name it, we didn't do it."
HE SAID IT: "First and foremost we gotta win next week. We got the Cleveland Browns going into Cleveland, another hostile environment, AFC North foe. We have to win that game first and foremost and then let the chips fall where they may." - running back DeAngelo Williams on the Steelers' playoff prospects.