The Steelers were down three with 41 seconds left and the ball on the Saints 42-yard line. Smith-Schuster hauled in a quick pass and fought for extra yardage, but Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins caused a fumble recovered by New Orleans.
Although Smith-Schuster is upset, the loss is not on him. He caught 11 passes for 115 yards despite suffering a groin injury Thursday that forced him to leave practice. The 8-6-1 Steelers wouldn't be fighting for a playoff berth without his efforts, as the 22-year-old has hauled in 106 passes for 1,389 yards and six touchdowns.
Per an ESPN News Services report, Roethlisberger also went on The Cook & Joe Show show Monday and offered public support of Smith-Schuster following the loss.
Of note, Roethlisberger said the ex-USC star is "one of the main reasons we even had a chance to win that game and win so many games this year. He's a special young talent. I was heartbroken for him. That was one of the worst things about that loss, for me, was him."