Disappointing outing: While the Steelers are still in the playoff race in the AFC, with two games remaining against AFC North opponents, they didn't do anything to help themselves losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, 36-10, at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Steelers turned the ball over three times and didn't come up with any takeaways as they head into the final two games with a 7-7-1 record.
"Disappointing game for us," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "We didn't do enough in any of the three phases to give ourselves a chance. On offense we turned the ball over. We've had our struggles on offense, but when we take care of the ball, we give ourselves a chance. We didn't. We had three of those tonight. That was catastrophic.
"We didn't get necessary stops on defense when we got put on a short field and largely we didn't win enough of the weighty downs, possession downs, redzone etc. Not enough splash in teams. This is a collective, players and coaches, we own this."
Tomlin said the key now is to focus on the final two games, including Monday night at Heinz Field against the Cleveland Browns and the final game of the regular season at the Baltimore Ravens.
"Now we transition, and we get singularly focused on our two division games," said Tomlin. "We can't cry over spilt milk. It is what it is tonight. We understand that. We better center our focus and put together our best efforts in an effort to secure victory next Monday night. That's what we briefly talked about in the locker room."
Doing his part: There were not a lot of positives statistics wise in the loss to the Chiefs, but one was the play of punter Corliss Waitman.
Waitman was signed on Saturday off the New England Patriots practice squad after punter Pressley Harvin III was ruled out for the game, dealing with the loss of his father.
Waitman originally signed with the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft. He was signed to a reserve/future contract following the season but released in May after the team drafted Harvin. Waitman punted at South Alabama where in four seasons he had 158 punts for 6,740 yards, an average of 42.7. Had his best season in 2017 when he had a 45.2-yard average.
On Sunday, Waitman punted twice for a 60.5-yard average, including a long of 63 yards that was a touchback.
"We had exposure to Corliss," said Tomlin. "He's been a part of our program. He's got a relationship with the Boz (Chris Boswell), and so the holding component of it was a component of the decision making as well. I thought Corliss did a solid job for us. We're appreciative of his efforts."
Falling behind early: It's becoming a recurring problem for the Steelers, falling behind early and having to fight and scrap to get back into a game.
Against the Chiefs the Steelers got in a hole, down 30-0, and were never able to dig their way out.
"We hadn't done much on the road," said Tomlin. "We're taking too long to warm up to the environment. So, it's been an issue. Obviously, it's not going to be an issue coming up this week. We'll be at Heinz Field. But I acknowledged has been an issue for us.
"It's going to require our attention. The next time we get in a road game environment there better be some changes."