Watching the game without being able to hear it at the strip club I was at*, I had no idea that we burned two timeouts on the challenge of the Miller catch. Yeah, that was idiotic. Crennel has some 'splainin' to do. I'm not going to be defending him against the calls for his head.
But I can't get too hung up on our lack of time to tie it up at the end. I can't even get too hung up on our crappy defense letting rothlisberger look like a good quarterback. Because none of that would have mattered if our offense didn't totally roll over in the second half.
Watching all those three and outs (or the particularly demoralizing one-Jamal-Lewis-fumble and out) looked like the Browns we came to know and hate over the past few seasons. Even when they took a break from the poorly advised run plays, the passing game was full of miscommunications. Anderson's protection was adequate, but less than solid. So many passes went incomplete, and while some were due to poor throws, others were due to bad route running (and liberal interpretation of the five yard rule by the steeler secondary and their reliably-friendly officiating crew). It seemed like even when a third and long pass was clanging to the ground incomplete, even if the receiver had caught the ball he probably couldn't have made it to the first down marker.
So I lay this blame on the offense. Got a little too conservative, and a little sloppy, before the game was anywhere near done. If they would have shown some life in the second half, then the defense and poor clock management wouldn't have mattered. But they rolled over, and based on our play over that second half, we didn't deserve to win this game.
Hopefully this loss will make the players hungry. Their play during the first half, and even during the very last drives on offense and defense, should be enough to show these guys that this team can beat the steelers. If they play up to their talent, maybe they'll get their shot in the playoffs. If not, they won't get their shot until next year.
*Don't ask. Let me just say that a strip club with the lights on and no girls around looks like any other restaurant/sports bar.