The Good, Bad and Ugly from Steelers loss to the New Orleans Saints

Welcome to a new format for our Good, Bad, and Ugly series. Our newly revamped weekly feature will highlight three instances that were “good”, “bad”, and “ugly” in the Steelers most recent game.

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Good: Steelers came to play

For all of the arguments about the Steelers not being able to win on Sunday, before the game was ever played, they sure came to play.

Ben Roethlisberger had one of his sharpest efforts to date in the loss, throwing for three touchdowns and no interceptions on a whopping 50 pass attempts. That enabled receivers Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster to gain over 100 yards apiece.

Equally impressive, in my opinion, was the Steelers defense… who had two different fourth-down conversions stopped only to have the referees call bogus pass interference calls to change the game.

Even Chris Boswell was on the mark, making both of his field goal attempts and each of his two extra point tries.

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Bad: Fake punt attempt

Let me be frank: the idea wasn’t a bad one. Mike Tomlin wanted to put the game away and trusted that his defense, who hounded Drew Brees all afternoon and had legitimately stopped the Saints several times, could do the same if they didn’t convert the fake punt.

And that’s precisely what happened… the fake didn’t convert… but it did actually work. Unfortunately it was followed by a (bad) celebration by FB Roosevelt Nix, who carried the ball short of the line to gain yet acted as if he put the final nail in New Orleans’ coffin.

Not a good look.

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Ugly: Officiating

The officiating was bad all evening. I hate to be that guy, but either of the Joe Haden‘s pass interference calls, that weren’t, would’ve greatly altered the outcome of the game. Instead of turning the ball over on downs, the Saints drives continued for touchdowns.

In fact, another pass interference call on Morgan Burnett should’ve never happened due to a missed false start penalty that would even make the Chargers LT (Tevi) blush. Furthermore, the zebras missed a tip of Drew Brees’ pass on Joe Haden’s second DPI call, which would’ve nullified the penalty.

Overall it was an ugly showing by the third team on the field, whose calls changed the course of the game multiple times and made a Steelers victory insurmountable in the face of a nearly flawless Saints squad.

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Honorable Ugly Mention: Stevan Ridley‘s fumble

Ridley’s fumble is discussed in more detail in my Winners and Losers article, where I feel the Steelers running back’s NFL career is now in jeopardy.

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