Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It was perfect to see Steelers' season end in gut-wrenching fashion

Alex Reimer
December 31, 2018 - 11:04 am

The Steelers’ season ended in appropriate fashion. Teams that throw goal-line interceptions, get flagged for costly late-game penalties and blame each other or X-Ray machines for their woes don’t deserve to make the playoffs.

And fittingly, the Steelers missed the postseason in the most gut-wrenching fashion possible. After slogging through an uninspiring 16-13 victory over the lowly Bengals at Heinz Field, they gathered onto the field to see if the Browns could oust the Ravens, and clear their path to January.

It looked like Baker Mayfield was going to pull off an incredible game-winning drive, even completing two sensational passes to Breshad Perriman and Jarvis Landry. But then Ravens linebacker C.J. Moseley picked him off. The game ended on Mayfield’s third interception of the day.

Heartbreak in Pittsburgh. It looks so sweet.

The 8-7-1 Steelers are one of the most talented teams in recent memory to miss the playoffs. Their season is defined by a three-week stretch that saw them drop brutal games to the Broncos (Roethlisberger goal-line INT), Chargers (blow 16-point lead at home and get called offsides three times on game-winning field goal) and Raiders (Ben Roethlisberger held out of game due to injury after he was seemingly ready to reenter). 

Interestingly enough, the Steelers did beat the Patriots 17-10 in Week 15, though they tried to give that one away, too. Ben Roethlisberger threw two picks and Chris Boswell missed a 32-yard field goal. But the Patriots and Tom Brady couldn't capitalize.

The following week, the Saints did take advantage of the Steelers’ several missteps, and walked away with a 31-28 victory that put Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes in the hands of the Cleveland Browns.

Dysfunctional teams don't get to control their own fate. This is how it should’ve ended.