5 Steelers surprises in Sunday’s win over the Falcons

Each week our SCU staff and contributors picks the “surprises” from the Pittsburgh Steelers latest matchup. Check out more below to see which plays and situations surprised us the most!

On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers met the Baltimore Ravens for their Week 14 matchup at Acrisure Stadium.

The Steelers would lose their eighth game of the season by a margin of 16-14. Here are some of the surprises from that game.

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Mitchell Trubisky

You won’t convince me otherwise that Trubisky’s three interceptions weren’t the deciding factor in Sunday’s game.

For those who were complaining that Trubisky wasn’t given a “fair chance” or was “held back”, you may have been right about the latter: on Sunday he wasn’t held back, and showed why he probably should be.

As a veteran quarterback with over 50 starts in the NFL, Mitch’s performance was below the line. He was incapable of making the same plays as Pickett had, and committed the first Steelers turnovers since the bye week.

In short, this may have been Trubisky’s swan song as the Steelers backup, and potentially killed any opportunities he may have had at competing for a starting job elsewhere in the future.

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Pressley Harvin III

A 17-yard punt is bad enough, but so is a 48-yard punt when you needed 47 or less.

Harvin is an absolute killer for the Steelers defense, ceding precious field position at inopportune times.

It’s time the Steelers hold auditions for anyone else they can find to fill their punting duties.

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Calais Campbell

If I told you the other team had a player who is the league’s active leader in blocked kicks, would you pay him some extra special attention?

Campbell was able to knock down another field goal attempt on Sunday, blocking a Chris Boswell try which would’ve closed the game to a one-score gap.

A word thrown around in postgame pressers was that Campbell “got skinny” but I’m still baffled as to how that happens with a 6-8, 300-plus-pound defensive lineman who has to squeeze through similarly sized men on the other side – and again, this guy wasn’t a priority?

Shame on special teams coordinator DannySmith and the rest of the coaching staff for this blunder.

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run defence

The Steelers defense only gave up 16 points despite the three Trubisky interceptions and blocked field goal attempt. But they also couldn’t stop Baltimore’s run game, which is all they had when they were down to not only their backup quarterback, but a practice squad call up who had to fill in too.

In the game’s most critical moment, they were unable to force a fourth down on a third-and-three, which allowed the Ravens to run out the clock.

In the end Pittsburgh ceded 215 rushing yards to the Ravens. Ouch.

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officiating

I’ve been mum on the referees for most of this season, especially since the Steelers have enough of their own issues than to start arguing about questionable calls that have no bearing on the game’s outcomes.

This crew had to be the worst of the worst this season.

You had a no-call on a hit to Kenny Pickett that ultimately knocked him out of the game. There was questionable contact on a Trubisky to Diontae Johnson pass that resulted in an interception. And somehow, this crew found a way to call a “tie” not once, but twice during the game, first with a “simultaneous possession” when TJ Watts recovered a fumble – and later on when they decided to call an off-setting offensive pass interference penalty on Johnson which negated a clear-as-day defensive infraction.

This team of zebras also botched two different offsides/neutral zone infraction calls, blowing what should’ve been free plays dead.

I hope we don’t see Adrian Hill and his crew again for a very, very long time!

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