Steelers don’t make excuses for thrashing
PITTSBURGH — It doesn’t take a lot of time or words to explain what happened to the Steelers on Sunday.
“We got beat in every phase of the game,” defensive end Cam Heyward said after the Jacksonville Jaguars won 30-9 at Heinz Field.
The coaches will pick apart the game tape and make adjustments, but the general order for the team is not complicated.
“Find a way to play better,” said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who threw five interceptions.
The loss dropped the Steelers to 3-2 with this Sunday’s game at Kansas City looming.
“It’s how we respond to it, and respond, I’m using my words really carefully there because we don’t need to react to it,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “We tip our caps to those guys today. We compliment them. We get in the lab tomorrow, we get back to work and we work on our response.
“We’re going to be defined individually and collectively on how we respond to an outing like that. I’ve been in it long enough to have that understanding. I think many of this team has. That was relayed to them. We chew it today. We get in the lab tomorrow.”
Roethlisberger, when asked what it will take to get the Steelers offense to reach its potential:
“Me playing better.”
Antonio Brown, who was unhappy when Roethlisberger didn’t notice him a week ago, started the day on a happy note.
The Steelers’ first play was a 49-yard completion to Brown. Brown wound up being targeted 19 times and caught 10 passes for 157 yards.
“We knew they were going to come out in the middle of the field and press us on the outside,” Brown said. “We knew if we wanted to have the day we desired to have, that we’d have to take our shots and get some plays down the field over their heads.”
How low can you go?
Roethlisberger’s passer rating for the game was 37.8.
Jaguars safety Barry Church returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown and had ample reason to celebrate.
Church is a native of Penn Hills and had family and friends in the stands.
“It was unbelievable,” he said. “My heart was bumping as soon as we landed here. This is my hometown, and getting to play against the Steelers, that’s unbelievable. Then to get the pick six, it’s a great feeling.”
If there was even a sliver of good news to come out of Sunday’s game, it was the Steelers reported no injuries of any consequence.
Linebacker Ryan Shazier said he thinks the Steelers could easily be 5-0 instead of 3-2 at this point.
“I definitely feel we could be undefeated right now,” he said. “(Jacksonville) did what they needed to do to get the W.”
Stats and streaks
n Roethlisberger’s streak of 45 consecutive home games with at least one touchdown pass was snapped. It is the third-longest streak in NFL history behind Drew Brees (60) and Tom Brady (47).
n It was the first time this season that the Jaguars failed to score on their first possession.