The Steelers jumped shot themselves in the foot three times at the end of Sunday night, but the third time was the worst.
If you really want the full dosage of how bad the Pittsburgh Steelers loss on Sunday night was, look no further than the very last play.
All the Steelers needed to do in order to avoid blowing a critical game at home was let Chargers kicker Michael Badgley get in his own way, which he had already done earlier in the night. Coming into the game, Chargers kickers had missed 27 kicks since 2017, which is a big reason why Badgley is the seventh kicker the team has trotted out in that time.
Pittsburgh proceeded to give him three attempts to do his job right, committing back-to-back penalties on Badgley’s first two kicks. For the record, he missed both of the kicks in which the Steelers were called for offsides penalties.
There should have been three missed kicks, however, but karmic justice prevailed.
On the Chargers third game-winning field goal attempt, Artie Burns appears to jump so far offsides that he screwed up his timing to block the kick. Watch the highlight for the Steelers player who comes flying off the right side of the defensive line.
— Sports Daily (@SportsDGI) December 3, 2018
That’s Burns flying off the edge, and it’s hard to tell from that angle but he appears to be very clearly offsides. If he hadn’t have gotten that fast of a jump, his timing would have matched up with the kick leaving Badgley’s foot and it would have resulted in a second blocked kick.
Instead, Burns was overly aggressive and mistimed things which resulted in a game-winning field goal.
It’s karma compounded by the fact that the Steelers committed penalties on the previous two plays that bought the Chargers additional chances to win the game. They jumped offsides so many times that it literally tipped the balance of the universe in favor of the Chargers and their kicker — something that never happens.
Pittsburgh often times benefits from playing with such high aggression and emotion, but this is a textbook example of what happens when that all blows up in their face.