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#pounditWednesday, May 29, 2024

Al Michaels was baffled by ‘bizarre’ Steelers playcall in loss to Patriots

Steelers quarterback Mitchell Trubisky looks on

The Pittsburgh Steelers had one last chance at stealing a win Thursday against the New England Patriots. Amazon broadcasters Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit didn’t approve of how the Steelers approached the opportunity.

The Steelers (7-6) were upset 21-18 by the bottom-dwelling Patriots (3-10) at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pa.

The Steelers trailed by as many as 18 points before mounting a comeback attempt in the second half. The home team was able to cut the deficit to 3 with just a few minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Pittsburgh was facing 4th-and-2 at their own 49 right before the 2-minute warning. Instead of going for a conservative play to try and extend their drive, the Steelers tried — and failed — to find wide receiver Diontae Johnson on a deep route.

Michaels and Herbstreit criticized the Steelers’ decision following the turnover on downs.

Michaels: “First thing’s first…”

Herbstreit: “I don’t understand that call.”

Michaels: “Neither do I. That was bizarre, on a 4th-and-2?”

Herbstreit: “It’s real easy to sit up here and second-guess calls, but it’s such a low-percentage throw.”

The Steelers also tried a deep pass to George Pickens on 3rd-and-2 that resulted in an incompletion. The team’s decision to double down on the aggressive playcalling did not pay off.

The loss dropped Pittsburgh outside of the AFC playoff picture to begin Week 14. The Steelers have lost both games since starting quarterback Kenny Pickett went down with a worrisome ankle injury.

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