Did the #1 ranking for the Steelers defense matter against Denver, Oakland, Tennessee, and San Diego? It was the Stat Curtain. No splash plays until it was too late, just a paper defense.
Denver - Defense held second ranked offense to 14 pts going into 4th. In 4th Steelers offense went 3 and out twice and threw a pick 6. Manning had too many possessions and good field position.
Oakland - Steelers D was just bad.
Tennessee - Steelers 3 and out turned into blocked Steelers punt turned into 1st and goal from the 1. Steelers defense actually only gave up 19 points.
San Diego - 17 SD points scored on drives starting on Steelers 17, 36 and 47 yard line. Steelers had five 3 and outs and a ToD in the first half. Steelers D ended up being on the field for 36 minutes. Ike was out and Keenan was hurt. Only 1 SD drive that started in their own territory made it into the Steelers red zone.
Roethlisberger turned the ball over twice in his own red zone resulting in 14 Charger points. Who really cost the Steelers this game? I know, I know, Ben was handcuffed, they only ran 44 pass plays, 23 minutes TOP doesn't mean anything and when you find yourself in a hole you just have to keep digging.