Steelers In Critical Condition After Blowing Game Against the Raiders

Chris StaafCorrespondent IDecember 6, 2009

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost another tough game, this time against the Bruce Gradkowski-led Oakland Raiders, 27-24. This game reminded me of the Bears-Steelers game in Week Two.

The defense could get no stops in the fourth quarter. They flat out sucked and lost the game. They allowed three touchdown passes in one quarter by the Raiders. This defense is just not good at all, especially in the fourth quarter.

Let's officially get ready for the inevitable, Steeler Nation. The Steelers are officially done this season. They needed to win this game if they had any playoff aspirations.

With all the teams ahead of them like Denver and Jacksonville winning today, their chances for a wild card berth got slimmer. It will take a miracle to make the playoffs, a miracle that likely won't come this time around.

To compare this team to the 2005 team would be an insult to the champions.

This team, at least on defense, looks old and plays with no heart.

The defense was horrible today, allowing Bruce Gradkowski to look like Jeff Garcia in his prime, making one play out of the pocket after another. Gradkowski had an amazing day, which might signal the offical end of the JaMarcus Russell era in Oakland.

To make matters worse, the Steelers could not cause a turnover. Rookie Joe Burnett dropped a sure interception that could have ended the game on the Raiders' game-winning drive. That pretty much sums up the Steelers secondary this season.

What makes this Steeler team so frustrating is that they held second half leads in every single game this season.

Now they are 6-6 and pretty much out of it.

Stefan Logan had his breakout game, Rashard Mendenhall had another 100-yard game, Santonio Holmes had a monster day, the offensive line only gave up one sack, but the defense was just not good at all.

One could say "any given Sunday" all they want but this Steelers team is just not championship material.

If they make the playoffs, they will have a good shot to defend their title. But right now, I would not put it past the Steelers to lose on Thursday night in Cleveland.

Next game: December 10 at Cleveland Browns @ 8:20 pm Eastern