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2014 Blunder Vs. The Buccaneers

The last time the Buccaneers played in Pittsburgh ended in a major blunder. Let’s take a deep rewind.

It started in Week 4 of 2014. The Steelers were 2-1 and hosted the 0-3 Buccaneers. The Steelers were 7.5-point favorites and looking to defend their home turf. The Buccaneers were in a deep rebuilding mode and had Mike Glennon as their starting quarterback. The Steelers were prepared to have a playoff season after going 8-8 in 2012 and 2013. By 2014, the Killer B’s of Big Ben, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown were forming as the premier trio in the NFL.

The Steelers got the ball first and things didn’t go their way from the start. On the first drive, Big Ben was sacked and then fumbled on the next play. In only about a minute after the game started, Tampa Bay already had the ball inside the Steelers 10-yard line. The Buccaneers scored a touchdown and then a field goal after the Steelers punted on the following drive. Only five minutes of play went by since the start of the game and the Steelers were down 10-0 in an instant.

The Steelers got back on track in the second quarter by scoring on three-straight drives. Shaun Suisham hit a field goal, and Big Ben connected with Antonio Brown twice to go up 17-10 at halftime. The Steelers flipped the momentum and wanted to grab hold to an even bigger lead in the second half. That wouldn’t be the case as the Buccaneers scored on their opening drive to tie it 17-17. The Steelers countered it with a touchdown of their own when Big Ben connected with Heath Miller to put the score at 24-17.

On Tampa Bay’s next drive Mike Glennon threw an interception to Cortez Allen to give the ball back to the Steelers. The Steelers couldn’t capitalize and were forced to punt. On the ensuing drive, the Buccaneers converted on a field goal to make it 24-20. The Steelers got the ball back and began a methodical drive. They entered Tampa Bay territory but couldn’t quite crack into field goal range and had to punt again.

The Buccaneers following drive started with seven minutes left in the game at their own 25-yard line. The Buccaneers led a slow but effective drive down the field. With two minutes left, they entered the Steelers red zone and were poised to strike. The Steelers defense held firm and didn’t allow a completion on four pass attempts. The Steelers got the ball back with 1:44 on the clock and were up 24-20. All the Steelers needed was one first down and they could run out the clock. Even if the Steelers didn’t get the first down, they could punt the ball away and leave the Buccaneers with little time left.

The Steelers ran three plays that only gained them three yards in total. On the bright side, the Buccaneers burned their last two timeouts. On 4th down, a short 29-yard punt by Brad Wing gave the Buccaneers the ball at the Steelers 46-yard line with 40 seconds to play. After an incompletion on first down, Mike Glennon connected with Louis Murphy for a 41-yard gain. The Buccaneers rushed to spike the ball and now had 15 seconds left at the Steelers 5-yard line. On the second play, Vincent Jackson made a diving catch for the touchdown.

The Steelers were in shock of their 27-24 loss to the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers went on to have the worst record in the NFL at 2-14. The Steelers were able to rebound by finishing 11-5 and first in the AFC North. The 2014 loss to the Buccaneers remains one of the most embarrassing and preventable losses for the Steelers at Heinz Field. This year, the Buccaneers make a return to Pittsburgh for a Week 6 matchup on October 16.

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