Could've. Would've. Should've. These words define those who fall short of their goals. Such is the case of this series, which will examine the ebbs and flows of the Pittsburgh Steelers 2018 season and how specific individual plays may have shaped the year.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were on a hot streak entering the Mile-High city of Denver for a faceoff with the Broncos.
Having just eked out a road game in Jacksonville, now the Steelers were headed into a city where they always struggled to win. However, the Broncos were a team also down on their luck in 2018 and Steelers Nation felt entitled to a victory which would never materialize when the clock struck zero at the end.
Their bad luck started from the beginning. A struggling Chris Boswell had a 48-yard field blocked to start the Steelers first drive. The Broncos would answer with a kick of their own to take a three-point lead in the first quarter before Pittsburgh got another shot with the ball.
Twelve plays and six-and-a-half minutes chewed off of the game clock resulted in nothing again - on 3rd and 1, the Steelers ran a perfectly executed play action pass to TE Xavier Grimble. Grimble would catch the pass and barrel down the field for what looked like a surefire touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. However, Grimble’s ambition got the best of him.
As the tight end approached the endzone, he lowered his shoulder to mow over Broncos defender Will Parks, who was positioned short of the goal line. Not protecting the ball, Parks did his job, lowering his own shoulder and forcing Grimble to lose possession of the football.
The play was reviewed and ruled a fumble into the endzone, which resulted in a touchback, giving the ball back to the Broncos on the Denver 20.
The fumble was one of four turnovers by the Steelers offense on the day, as those valuable points could’ve been the difference maker in a seven point loss to Denver, 24-17.