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The excuses aren't hard to find if the Pi
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panxing18 Offline
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The excuses aren't hard to find if the Pi

ttsburgh Steelers were in the mood to look for them.The false start that wasn't called on a play that ended with a Los Angeles Chargers touchdown . The apparent block in the back that helped spring Chargers punt returner Desmond King for the game-tying score.The weird floater by Ben Roethlisberger on a pass that slipped out of his hand and landed into the awaiting arms of Los Angeles rookie safety Derwin James.Yet the Steelers understand it's pointless and expensive to complain , one of the reasons coach Mike Tomlin opted not to vent 鈥?publicly anyway 鈥?after his team let a 16-point lead slip away in a 33-30 loss to the Chargers on Sunday night that reduced Pittsburgh's once comfortable cushion in the AFC North to mere percentage points over second-place Baltimore heading into the final month of the season."I am going to keep my mouth shut," Tomlin said after his team dropped its second straight to fall to 7-4-1, just ahead of the Ravens at 7-5. "I am going to do that because I send enough money (in fines to NFL headquarters) in New York."Tomlin understands the calls the officials do or don't make are out of his hands. His team's ability to avoid losing with a 16-point advantage at home 鈥?something the Steelers had been able to do 174 out of the previous 175 times it happened in franchise history 鈥?is another matter entirely. One that is far more troubling than a handful of questionable decisions by referee Bill Vinovich's crew."We didn't establish rhythm in the beginning of the second half," Tomlin said. "We had a couple drives killed by penalties, holding penalties, it's catastrophic."Pittsburgh took the second-half kickoff and moved into Los Angeles territory only to see a 22-yard gain by James Conner wiped out when officials flagged left guard Ramon Foster for holding. The Steelers punted three plays later.Pittsburgh's second possession of the third quarter appeared to be picking up steam when left tackle Alejandro Villanueva was called for holding. The drive stalled and Jordan Berry punted yet again.King fielded it at the Chargers 27, slipped past a couple of tacklers 鈥?including Pittsburgh's Brian Allen, who may have been helped to the ground thanks to a shove on the back of his right shoulder by Los Angeles gunner Rayshawn Jenkins 鈥?and raced down the right sideline for a touchdown that helped tie the game at 23.The Chargers didn't need any assistance Authentic Robert Woods Jersey , however, in taking control in the fourth quarter. Philip Rivers led Los Angeles on scoring drives of 79 and 64 yards on the Chargers' final two drives, facing just two third downs in the process.The Steelers did not get called for a defensive penalty on either of the drives. Instead, Los Angeles simply did whatever it wanted against a defense that couldn't seem to get in the right position."You can't say anything about our offense, our offense scored 30 points," defensive end Cam Heyward said. "As a defense, we're not getting the job done. I don't look for anybody else to say that the officials did this or anything else, we didn't get the job done as a defense."And now Pittsburgh faces a daunting stretch if it wants to lock up a fifth straight playoff berth. The Steelers visit hapless Oakland next Sunday Robert Woods Jersey Elite , a meeting that looks like a mismatch. Yet the Raiders have always been trouble for Pittsburgh, particularly on the road.The Steelers haven't won in Oakland since 1995. They fell to the Raiders at the Coliseum in 2012 and 2013 to teams that finished 4-12 both seasons.In 2006 Pittsburgh headed west as the reigning Super Bowl champions and somehow lost to a squad that went 2-14.After that it's a visit by the New England Patriots then a visit to New Orleans two days before Christmas before wrapping up the regular season at Heinz Field against Cincinnati.A shot at earning one of the two seeds 鈥?a position the Steelers were in the mix for after a six-game winning streak had them at 7-2-1 鈥?appears gone. At this point, holding off the resurgent Ravens is no given."We can't seem to win it at home right now," Foster said. "So maybe we'll be great playoff road warriors."NOTES: WR Ryan Switzer is in the concussion protocol after taking an illegal hit from Los Angeles linebacker Jatavis Brown in the fourth quarter. ... RB James Conner is dealing with a left leg contusion.Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders: WR Brandin Cooks is the X-factor on Monday Night Football Last year, the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders went to battle in Week 11 in Oakland. The game ultimately wasn’t even close as the Patriots steamrolled the Raiders 33-8.How did the Patriots manage to do it? They had a secret weapon.WR Brandin Cooks.Cooks was dominant all game registering six receptions, 149 receiving yards and a touchdown in the game. Cooks threatened the defense with his speed ultimately catching two separate passes over 50 yards. Obviously for a guy like Cooks, when the deep game goes well, the remainder of his game manages to benefit too. With cornerbacks starting to line up off the line of scrimmage and playing with a major cushion , Cooks was allowed to work underneath on hitches and comebacks:Ironically for Cooks, it was his best game of the season.Since then, the Raiders have made plenty of changes in their personnel having cast off the main players who were burnt in CB Sean Smith and S Obi Melifonwu. They also have a new Head Coach in Jon Gruden among many other changes like Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther along with a new offensive coordinator in former Rams OC and QB Coach Greg Olson.Also if you’ve been hiding under a rock, Cooks was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for a first-round pick. Cooks’ addition is not one to scoff at as his positional versatility and game-breaking speed allow Head Coach Sean McVay to become extremely creative and only add to an offense which was incredibly explosive in 2017.It will be a different battle with different teams and different players, but one thing is for certain: Brandin Cooks is a threat, and the Raiders will have to adjust accordingly.
03-11-2019 06:10 AM
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