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Sting of loss to Bucs lingered

It was one of 16 games on the schedule and it counted as such in the standings. But last Sunday's 27-24 loss to previously-winless Tampa Bay was also one that gnawed at Ben Roethlisberger, one that affected the Steelers' quarterback in the immediate aftermath the way few previous setbacks had in his 11-year career.

"Yeah, it did," Roethlisberger confirmed this week.

Guard David DeCastro likewise sensed a more pronounced, more palpable reaction in the locker room.

"Everyone was a little shocked and really frustrated," DeCastro said.

The source of Roethlisberger's obvious angst resulted more from the particulars than the result.

"Because you're at home," he said. "You know we felt that, I wouldn't say the whole game we were in control because, obviously, the beginning of the game, they got after us early. But just offensively I felt like we were in control of the game. And you have silly mistakes that hurt you as a team and as an offense specifically.

"You can't have pre- and post-snap penalties. Those are the ones that kill you."

The mistakes started early against Tampa Bay, when the Steelers'  game-opening drive ended on a sack-fumble three snaps after they'd taken possession.

And those mistakes continued to the bitter end, when the Steelers were unable to run out the clock inside the two-minute warning, punted the ball back to the Bucs and then surrendered a game-winning, 46-yard touchdown drive in the final 40 seconds.

"When you just feel like you have it right there and you're holding onto it; it's not like we had to fight back and we had a chance at the end to win it," Roethlisberger continued. "We had a chance from the end of the first quarter, from halfway through the first quarter on, to win that game.

"To let it slip away at home really stings more than anything."

Although the sting lingered, DeCastro said the Steelers have been in bounce-back mode this week and that they're focused on Sunday's visit to Jacksonville. Tampa Bay may have taken some getting over, but the Steelers are over it, DeCastro maintained.  

"That's the beauty of football, whether you win or lose you have to come back the next week and you have to treat it the same way you did the last week," he said. "Whether it's win or lose you got to come back and go to work.

"We'll be just fine. Guys get it. We have a long season ahead of us. We can't let one game be more than one game."

Out: LB Ryan Shazier (knee), CB Ike Taylor (forearm).
Probable: WR Martavis Bryant (illness), OG Ramon Foster (ankle), OT Marcus Gilbert (ankle), WR Markus Wheaton (groin), LB James Harrison (illness), QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related), DE Brett Keisel (not injury related), TE Heath Miller (not injury related), FS Mike Mitchell (not injury related), SS Troy Polamalu (not injury related).

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