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Сообщение hongwei28 20 ноя 2018, 04:41

Pittsburgh’s drama-filled season ended shockingly. A final http://www.packersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jaire-alexander-jersey , forgettable act.

No shot at the Patriots. No seventh Super Bowl trophy. No tomorrow.

And when it ended following a game no one expected, Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown and the rest of the dejected Steelers searched to find words to describe all that had gone wrong.

This was a struggle from the start.

”It wasn’t our day,” Roethlisberger said. ”It wasn’t our year.”

Doomed by two first-half turnovers and a pair of head-scratching play calls on fourth down, Pittsburgh was stunned in the AFC playoffs by the Jacksonville Jaguars, who outslugged the Steelers 45-42 on Sunday to earn a trip to New England for next week’s conference championship.

Roethlisberger, who had wondered if he was washed up after throwing five interceptions in a loss to the Jags on Oct. 9, set a franchise postseason record with five touchdown passes but it wasn’t enough as the Steelers (13-4) couldn’t stop a Jacksonville offense that was supposedly weak.

”It’s disheartening,” said Brown, who caught two TD passes and played at his All-Pro level while battling a calf injury. ”I thought we had the right guys. As a player, you live for these moments. Now we start all over.”

As Roethlisberger dressed at one end of Pittsburgh’s locker room, a few of his teammates sat at their stalls in disbelief.

This wasn’t the plan.

Cam Heyward handled wave after wave of questions about the team’s numerous defensive lapses. Bell downplayed that his messy contract situation created an unnecessary distraction in the days leading up to the game Authentic Customized Cardinals Jerseys , and cornerback Artie Burns sat in his uniform and stared blankly at the floor.

The Steelers never recovered from a 21-0 first-half deficit and are now left to wonder what might have been. Twice they got within seven in the second half only to give up back-breaking plays to the Jaguars, who rushed for 168 yards and seemed to come up with a big play whenever they needed one.

”It’s crazy that we couldn’t get off the field,” Heyward said. ”They played better than us – simple as that.”

The Jaguars had the Steelers out of step early on. After rookie Leonard Fournette’s second TD, the score set up by linebacker Myles Jack’s interception of Roethlisberger, Jacksonville was up 14-0 and Pittsburgh’s rowdy fans were using their Terrible Towels to muffle their disgust.

The Steelers seemed to panic when coach Mike Tomlin elected to go on fourth-and-inches and then inexplicably ran a sweep to Bell that got snuffed. Later, Roethlisberger threw an incompletion on fourth down when a simple sneak might have moved the chains.

”We didn’t execute well enough and they did,” Tomlin said when asked about his decisions.

Roethlisberger went 37 of 58 for 469 yards and the five TDs, the last coming with 1 second left.

It was a sobering moment for the star quarterback who has orchestrated so many comeback wins during a 14-year career. Roethlisberger found some solace in his final throw.

”Nobody quit and that speaks volumes about this team,” he said.

Roethlisberger also dismissed any talk the Steelers were looking past the Jaguars and a rematch with the Patriots, who handed Pittsburgh its only loss in the last 11 games.

”We were dialed in,” he said. ”I know I wasn’t looking forward.”

Bell finished with 155 total yards and afterward sidestepped much talk about his contract. He was franchise tagged by the team for $12 million this season and has made it clear he wants more money.

”I wasn’t thinking about it,” he said. ”All I was thinking about was getting to the Super Bowl.”

As for his own future, Roethlisberger indicated that he intends to return next season. The 35-year-old has hinted at retirement Authentic Customized Falcons Jerseys , but that seemed far from his mind as he swallowed a loss few saw coming.

”I don’t know what’s going on with people’s contracts,” he said. ”I don’t know how many years guys have left. I know the guys up front are all under contract and that’s a good feeling. I definitely have a desire to play football. I love this game. I love these guys. It’s tough. It stings.

”You hate losing at home. I feel bad because I feel like I let the fans down and my teammates down. I feel like I let a lot of people down and I’ll take it all myself. I look forward to next year with those guys.”




Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke is slowing down, which is not uncommon for a 34-year-old pitcher.

The only surprise is he is doing it on purpose.

The majors’ second highest-paid pitcher this season – he’s making $32 million — never hesitates to tinker with his pitch selection, and that’s been evident in recent games. Greinke is throwing a pitch that he’s never flashed before, a slower-than-slow curveball that arrives at the plate with a speed that barely exceeds that of a knuckleball.

So, when the Miami Marlins take on Greinke (7-5, 3.66 ERA) and the Diamondbacks on Thursday in the final contest of a four-game series at Marlins Park, they will be facing one of the majors’ most familiar pitchers yet one they’ve never quite seen before.

“It’s been working really good this year,” Greinke told reporters after he pitched six shutout innings in a 7-2 Diamondbacks victory Saturday in Pittsburgh. “I don’t know how long it will last for, but it’s been working good. I didn’t throw any harder curves, where I think the whole year, I’ve kind of done both. But my harder one gets hit usually. So, I started throwing only the slow ones.”

Greinke opposes Marlins right-hander Trevor Richards (2-4 Authentic Customized Ravens Jerseys , 4.91), who has won two of his last three decisions. Richards won 6-2 at Colorado on Saturday, permitting one run and three hits over six innings, striking out eight and walking two.

The Diamondbacks could not have received a much better performance Wednesday from left-hander Robbie Ray as they beat Miami 2-1 and improved to 7-2 on their 10-game road trip. Ray, out since April 29 with an oblique injury, allowed two hits over six shutout innings while making 83 pitches.

Daniel Descalso hit a key pinch-hit homer for the Diamondbacks in the eighth inning to make it 2-0, and reliever Yoshihisa Hirano tied a club record by making his 24th consecutive scoreless relief outing, throwing a scoreless seventh inning.

Arizona overcame a shaky ninth inning from closer Brad Boxberger, who gave up a solo homer to Starlin Castro before allowing the potential tying run reach second with one out before retiring the final two batters.

“Other than that, we didn’t get a lot going,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Starlin Castro’s always going to get his hits. Hopefully he can keep that rolling.”

The Diamondbacks can win the four-game series if they take the Thursday matinee behind Greinke, whose velocity is down the last few seasons — his four-seam fastball maxed out at 90.7 mph in Pittsburgh.

He once threw consistently in the mid-90s. But when he mixes in an eephus pitch-like curveball that doesn’t even reach 68 mph, it makes his fastball look all that much harder. And he threw 12 of them against the Pirates.

Still Authentic Customized Bills Jerseys , after Pirates rookie Austin Meadows barely missed homering on Greinke’s final super-slow curveball of the day, the right-hander said, “It might have been running its course. So maybe 12 times was too many.”

Whatever Greinke is throwing up there, it’s working. He has won four of his last five decisions, and he’s helping keep the streaky Diamondbacks in first place.

They began the season 24-11, then dropped 15 of 17 to fall to .500 at 26-26 but have since won 20 of 28 and six of seven.

Greinke has been especially tough on the Marlins during his career, going 6-0 with a 3.53 ERA against them in 11 games (10 starts). He last faced them June 2, limiting them to one run on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out six and walking one while earning the victory in a 6-2 Diamondbacks win. Castro hits him well, going 9-of-25 with a home run and four doubles.

The first-place Diamondbacks return home following the contest to begin a three-game weekend series against the NL West rival San Francisco Giants.
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