2021 Steelers Season Recall: Loss in Green Bay sets Pittsburgh back to 1-3 record
Steel City Underground presents our 2021 Steelers Recall: a look back at Pittsburgh Steelers games and storylines from last season.
Things were looking meek as the Steelers rolled into Green Bay for their Week 4 afternoon matchup with the Packers.
Having lost two-straight, Pittsburgh was looking to right the ship once again in a tough environment to win football games. Luckily, the weather was alright, being it was early October instead of the usually snowy confines of Wisconsin in December.
Unluckily, the Steelers didn’t have some things go their way.
For the first time all season, however, the Steelers would score a touchdown on their opening drive. Receiving the ball first to star the game, Ben Roethlisberger would find Diontae Johnson for a 45-yard strike that stunned the hometown crowd.
Although Roethlisberger would have a tough outing on the day, he found Johnson on the free play due to an offsides penalty on Green Bay (that was later declined).
The toss was Roethlisberger’s 400th career touchdown pass, moving him past Dan Marino to become the eighth quarterback in NFL history to throw at least 400 touchdown passes in his career.
Green Bay would answer in the second quarter, knotting the score 7-all on an Aaron Rodgers scramble following a 13-play 64-yard drive.
The Steelers got the ball back, but would see Big Ben strip-sacked with Green Bay recovering the loose football on the Steelers 23. Four play later, Rogers would find Randall Cobb from 23 yards out for a touchdown, giving the Pack the go ahead at 14-7.
The Steelers offense would sputter but get into field position for Mike Tomlin to decide on allowing Chris Boswell to attempt a 52-yard field goal: which doinked in the right direction and helped the Steelers get within four points.
As the Packers attempted to close out the half with points from their own kicker’s foot, the Steelers special teams unit would seemingly block Mason Crosby’s 31-yard attempt, as Minkah Fitzpatrick would scoop up the loose ball and return it 75 yards for a touchdown… or was it?
The Steelers were called offsides here, which erased a blocked FG return for a TD to make it 17-14 Steelers and allowed Mason Crosby to re-kick and make it 17-10 Packers pic.twitter.com/hfwZvsA7Sb
— Bad Sports Refs (@BadSportsRefs) October 3, 2021
The play was nullified and Crosby was given eight seconds on the clock to re-kick, which would see the potential score swing from 17-14 Steelers, to 17-10 Packers at the half.
Green Bay ran a lengthy opening half drive to start the third quarter, but 12 plays to the Steelers 11-yard line would end in only a short Crosby conversion again. The Steelers offense ran a five-play drive and punted – only twenty yards – which setup the league’s eventual MVP with another short field and scoring opportunity.
The Packers capitalized, as Cobb used his feet for a one-yard score this time after a 4-play 40-yard drive gave Green Bay the 27-10 edge.
Everything seemed so far away for Pittsburgh now, who once had momentum twice in the game – from the opening drive to the called back blocked field goal. However, Chris Wormley gave them life again when the Steelers offense turned the ball over on downs, but were right back on the field after two plays when the defensive end stripped Aaron Jones of the ball.
More strangeness would occur with Pittsburgh’s offense, including this 3rd-and-4 play:
What if I told you this player didn’t get the first down? pic.twitter.com/FRdXpARlGe
— Tyler Wise (@TriggeredWise) October 4, 2021
Unfortunately, the above mistake led to another fourth-and-four situation, where Diontae Johnson would cause his team harm with a false start penalty. Mike Tomlin had no choice but to instead send out his punting unit.
The Steelers offense would trade possessions before a 65-yard drive was finished with Najee Harris’ first career rushing touchdown – one in which he leapt over the line of scrimmage to secure.
The Steelers were still down by ten points, and that would be the way the game ended, as Roethlisberger threw an interception in what would’ve amounted to garbage time stats at best.
Pittsburgh would fall to 1-3 on the season by a final score of 27-17, as fans started to heavily criticize the direction of the franchise heading into an upcoming home stand against the streaking 3-1 Denver Broncos.