The Steelers were swept by the Jacksonville Jaguars this season, losing 30-9 at home in the regular season, and then suffering a stunning 45-42 defeat at home again in the playoffs.
The postseason loss will sting for multiple reasons, many of which can be attributed to head coach Mike Tomlin. Here were the team’s biggest bricks:
* 4th and 1 from the Jaguars 21-yard line in the 1st half: Pitch to Le’Veon Bell
It failed. It was a puzzling move because Bell was running well up the middle. The Jaguars have one of the fastest defenses in the NFL.
* 4th and 1 in Jaguars territory in the 3rd quarter: Pass incomplete
It appeared that Ben Roethlisberger audibled out of a play, and decided to throw downfield. It was incomplete.
* Onside kick down 7 with 2:18 left. Jaguars recovered.
This one was rough because the Steelers had two timeouts left, plus the 2-minute warning. The failed onside kick gave the Jaguars the ball in field goal range. Kicker Josh Lambo nailed a 45-yard field goal and that was the ball game.
But this battle was lost before the game. All week, the Steelers kept talking about the Patriots. They wanted the rematch. They took the Jaguars lightly, and were never able to crawl out of a 21-0 hole.