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Post Game Week 4: Frustrations mount in Steelers 27-17 loss

Matt Freed / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Post Game Week 4: Frustrations mount in Steelers 27-17 loss

All of the dreams that went into the Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 season have quickly managed to turn into nightmares in the wake of the 27-17 loss to the Green Bay PackersBen Roethlisberger became the 8th quarterback in NFL history to throw 400 touchdown passes and surpass Dan Marino (61,361) for #6 on the All-Time NFL Yardage record list.  Ironic that on a day that Roethlisberger achieved such historic milestones that he’ll be more remembered for the two passes he missed:

  • The overthrow to a wide-open JuJu Smith-Schuster for what would have been a walk-in 32-yard touchdown reception in the 2nd quarter that would have tied the game at 14-14.
  • The overthrow to an equally wide-open Smith-Schuster on what would have been an 80-yard touchdown catch in the 3rd quarter that would have closed the gap to 20-17.

Roethlisberger continued to disappoint on the day, furthering the narrative that Big Ben is “done” by completing two passes over 20 yards on the day.  The nay-sayers might be right in this case, as the once clutch Roethlisberger threw twice failed to even throw past the first down marker on 4th and 4 as the Steelers were already on the edge of losing with an outside chance of coming back.



The Steelers had no answer for stopping Aaron Rodgers to Randall Cobb on 3rd down – as the pair converted 4 consecutive times.  Cobb had only 3 catches for 58 yards through the first three weeks.  Cobb caught 5 for 69 yards and 2 touchdowns Sunday afternoon.  This despite how the Steelers defense shut down the Packers top playmakers Aaron Jones and Davante Adams.

The Steelers certainly did not get the breaks on the day either.  The Steelers defense gave its all to stop the Packers, only to have Joe Haden erroneously called for an offsides to nullify a touchdown by Minkah Fitzpatrick, who blocked a field goal attempt, recovered the loose ball and ran it back 75-yards for a what could have been a game altering score and a 17-10 lead at the half.

T.J. Watt, obviously playing at less than 100%, still managed 2 sacks (with his customary ref swallowing the whistles on obvious holding penalties he forced) and the Steelers defense was better when it applied more pressure, including a sack by Devin Bush.  But the Steelers defense and special teams did not make (or had bad calls negate) the plays to help the offense, certainly not like the Packers did.  A Roethlisberger fumble when the pocket collapsed on a sack, gave the Packers the ball on the Steelers 25-yard line.  Pressley Harvin III had a shanked 20-yard punt to give the Packers almost as prime field position to start the drive on the Steelers 40-yard line.  Fitzpatrick had a great chance to intercept a Rodgers pass early but could only get a hand on it.

This sequence of plays turned a close game into a blowout, as the Steelers could have been right in it but did not convert their opportunities and made enough unforced errors that ate up any margin for error that the Steelers could ill-afford to have.  By the end of the game, the team looked completely dejected, to losing yet another player to a groin injury in Cam SuttonKevin Dotson was also injured in the game.



This is a team that desperately needs to get healthy in a hurry.  The bright spots were from Najee Harris, who the Packers defense basically could not stop and had an incredibly impressive leap to score a 4th quarter touchdown (making it his first rushing TD of his professional career). Perhaps the return of Zach Banner and Chukwuma Okorafor might better position them to run the ball more frequently, as Dan Moore Jr. struggled again all day. Diontae Johnson hauled in a 45-yard touchdown to end the Steelers 12-consecutive game streak of failing to score on the opening drive and really should have drawn another flag for PI to position the Steelers on the 2-yard line, but his inexplicable running backwards after gaining 3 yards on a 3rd and 4 to negate any positive yardage on the game was as frustrating as was the false start that he committed that forced the Steelers to punt.

2021 is shaping up to be a season of scouting out for the draft after only four weeks.  The 1-3 start is the team’s worst since 2013 and while that team finished 8-4, the general feeling is this time around it’s not looking even remotely like the Steelers and Mike Tomlin are going to avoid a losing season.


Thoughts on the loss and the current state of the Steelers? Click to comment below.


PMP; CSM; CSPO and host of the PMI-TB Agile Podcast. A lifelong Steelers fan, I had the chance of a lifetime when I was able to celebrate Super Bowl XLIII with the team. I love talking everything Steelers from the old days to the new and look forward to working with the team to grow this platform to be the premier Steelers site.



  1. Joyce Whitaker

    October 4, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    You can NO LONGER stick with the status quo. Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over then expecting a different result? Well that is exactly what this staff is doing. The OC needs to get on field and move away from the press box ASAP.

    Time to GUT the offensive staff and let Mike Tomlin call the shots!! Go get Kendall Briles. Someone that can give you an uptempo style. At this point, we will need more than SPLASH PLAYS to get back in the hunt to even make the playoffs.

  2. Martin

    October 4, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    I wholly agree with the above post but will like to include several obvious observations. I fully believe it is NOT the players fault. It’s the coaches. 1. Ben is a two time SB Quarterback so allow him to make the on the field. He knows the game given his age and experience, as the always point out. 2. Canada does need to get out of the press box, if it is not working then fix it. 3. Do more no huddles that’s when they perform best. Bench BEN for a minute and let Mason start in a few games, if he gets hurt BIG BEN can always step in. Remember he only practices on Wednesdays (for safety reasons wonder why?). In other words this is way THEY THINK our WR’s run the wrong route its because they cannot gel with Big Ben. These players are bigger and faster than old school players hence the quick passing and overthrown balls to wide open players.

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