Thoughts From The Pressbox

Dale Lolley is back from New York with notes, quotes and anecdotes from the Steelers' 20-13 loss to the New York Jets.

The 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers are perhaps the most confounding team in the history of the league.

There have been more peaks and valleys to this season in just 10 weeks than most roller coasters, with Sunday's 20-13 loss to the New York Jets being yet another valley.

There is, however, one common thread with how this team has played this season: They win or play well at home - at least offensively; they lose and don't play well offensively, for the most part, on the road.

Don't believe it?

Consider that Ben Roethlisberger has now thrown five TD passes and four interceptions on the road. At home, he has an 18-1 ratio.

"If there was a pattern, we would find a way to fix it," said Roethlisberger Sunday when he wasn't constantly referring to the team's four turnovers.

The Steelers are still a good football team. But until they find a way to play better on the road - where they've struggled other than one good half against Carolina - they can't be a very good team.

A win next week at Tennessee would certainly help change that around - at least a little.

@ The mood after this game wasn't quite like the one after the 31-10 loss at Cleveland four weeks ago.

Maybe it was because, unlike that game, where the Steelers were embarrassed on both sides of the ball, the defense actually played a pretty solid game after a slow start.

"Everyone’s upset because we know what type of team we have," said defensive end Brett Keisel. "I think that’s the biggest thing. We know we’re better than how we played out there."

They really didn't know how good they were after the loss at Cleveland.

But this game was certainly a step back after the team had taken so many strides forward in recent weeks.

"Well it certainly wasn't a step forward," said Keisel. "It's crazy. In this league, sometimes you're a part of these games, where it just seems like things don't go your way."

The Jets had found themselves stuck in that rut the past eight weeks but found a way to break out of it against the Steelers.

@ Many on Twitter were complaining about the Steelers' reliance on the short passing game early with a lot of dump-offs and screens. But the Jets were working hard to take away the deeper passes.

Yet, it sure seemed like the Steelers could have had eight and 10-yard outs anytime they wanted them.

@ Why is it that every time the Steelers lose a game like this to a "lesser" opponent, it seems that Shaun Suisham misses a chip-shot field goal or two?

Suisham banged a 53-yarder at the end of the half that seemed to give the Steelers some momentum. But Roethlisberger gave that back by throwing his second pick of the game in Jets' territory.

@ I blame Beiber, as in Justin Beiber.

He made an appearance at the team hotel Saturday night and, obviously, must have taken some of the guys out partying. Or something.

@ Really, this loss wasn't all that surprising. Rex Ryan teams really like to ugly things up and the Steelers played right along.

Looking at the remaining road games coming into this one, I felt the Steelers' best chance of losing was against these Jets. The Bengals at home will also be tough, as will Atlanta - if it hasn't mailed things in by then.

Tennessee next week with a rookie quarterback? Dick LeBeau is drawing stuff up for the kid as I write this.

@ Really, when your star quarterback and Pro Bowl receiver account for four turnovers, there's not a lot to say.

Really, Antonio Brown had two career lost fumbles coming into this game. He doubled that number in the span of about 20 plays.

@ The Steelers also had a couple of calls go against them. It sure looked like Michael Vick fumbled and Cameron Heyward had a clear recovery along the sideline late in the first half.

And Darrius Heyward-Bey was offside on an onside kick much like the kid was a few weeks ago in the Penn State game. Right, Nittany Lions fans?

@ The Steelers should;ve kept James Harrison in the game at the goal line. He wouldn't have lost eight yards on second-and-goal from the 1 as LeGarrette Blount did.

Run straight ahead big guy. You're not fast enough to get to the outside down there.


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