Entering Sunday’s showdown with the Ravens, the Steelers had committed just 11 penalties on the season, and none of them were key to the point where they had changed the game. Total yards in the penalties – 80 yards.
Sunday they committed 11 penalties for 88 yards, including some late when they were trying to burn up the clock leading 14-10.
They were unable to do it, and therefore ended up on the short end of a hard to swallow 17-14 setback in a game most if not all Steelers fans and players felt was theirs for the taking.
“That’s Steelers beating Steelers, but through the entire game, too many penalties,” Mike Tomlin said. “We didn’t play clean enough to earn a victory. And that’s just black and white.”
What was black and white as well was the fact the team never got much into a rhythm because of the penalties, including a key one late on the final punt of the game that put the Ravens in striking distance at the Steelers 40.
That penalty was on Keyaron Fox, and shortened the field for the Ravens to drive for the winning score. In the Steelers drive to try and wrap up the game running the ball, they right away put themselves behind the 8-ball with false starts by both Chris Kemoeatu and Matt Spaeth.
“Some games go like that. I don’t know if we were too excited or what was going on, but we made some mistakes,” Ryan Clark said. “You can’t beat yourself. Not taking anything away from them [by] saying that they didn’t play well, but penalties are what you do to yourself. Those are things that we can control that they don’t force us into – kind of unforced errors.”
You can always learn from a loss, but watching the Steelers make mistake after mistake and commit penalties that cost them this game was tough to see. They have quite awhile to think about it, as they won’t play another game till October 17th at home against the Browns.
“We like to win. We don’t look at it as a positive thing because we always like to finish,” Lawrence Timmons said. “But you can’t win them all. We just have to learn from our mistakes here and, hopefully, let them make us stronger.”