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Dwight Clark Jersey

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    October 10, 2018 11:42 PM PDT

    Pittsburgh’s drama-filled season ended shockingly. A final http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-isaac-yiadom-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, 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 Dwight Clark Jersey , 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, 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.”

    Houston has arguably the best overall pitching staff in the major leagues but has run into a big problem because of injury.

    The Astros are struggling to find someone to handle those standout pitchers after losing another catcher in their 5-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

    The Astros will send right-hander Garrit Cole (9-2, 2.50 ERA) to the mound for the Independence Day, Lone Star State showdown at Globe Life Park in Arlington while the Rangers counter with left-hander Mike Minor (6-4, 4.64).

    Houston’s catching situation took a turn for the worst Tuesday when Max Stassi was forced from the game against Texas in the first inning after he was hit on the right wrist by a pitch.

    Stassi’s injury comes on the same day veteran catcher Brian McCann met with team medical director Dr. David Lintner ahead of having surgery on his right knee. The Astros placed McCann on the disabled list Tuesday with a sore right knee for the second time this season and recalled catcher Tim Federowicz from Triple-A Fresno.

    Federowicz took over for Stassi, who entered Tuesday’s game batting .255 with seven homers and 22 RBIs.

    Houston manager A.J. Hinch wouldn’t say what type of surgery McCann would undergo and when the procedure would take place, but admitted that the Astros without McCann, their front-line backstop, “for the foreseeable future.”

    “We don’t know other than he’s heading for surgery and we’ll have a better timetable once he sees Dr. Lintner and goes through the medical process,” Hinch told mlb.com. “We had a long conversation in Tampa (over the weekend) Authentic Josh Allen Jersey , and it’s continually the same issue over and over with his right knee. One of the options is surgery, and he went back to Houston to take care of it.”

    Texas right-handed reliever Chris Martin was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday prior to the club’s series opener against the Astros. The move made room on the 25-man roster for first baseman Ronald Guzman, who returned from the seven-day concussion disabled list.

    Rangers manager Jeff Banister said Martin’s demotion was to create bench depth

    “Chris hadn’t done anything to warrant being optioned,” Banister said. “He’s got options. Obviously, he’s pitched well for us in the bullpen. However, you’ve got to be able to protect some of the other players on the team, too.”

    Banister told mlb.com that Guzman passed the concussion protocol three days after he was placed on the disabled list. “Ronals was a full-go, as far as baseball activities are concerned,” he said.

    The Astros have shuffled their rotation for this week to give Lance McCullers, Jr. and Charlie Morton some additional rest. McCullers was originally scheduled to start Wednesday against the Rangers.

    Cole makes his first start in July after going 4-1 with a 3.41 ERA in six June starts, posting a 1.11 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in 37 innings. The Astros are 14-3 in games started by Cole, who is looking to reach double digits in wins.

    Minor has been one of the Rangers’ best starters of late. He was 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in four June starts. Minor is 4-2 with a 3.44 ERA in nine home starts this season.

    Minor is 1-2 with a 5.06 ERA in nine games (six starts) versus Houston, including 0-1, 5.74 in three starts this season.

    Cole is 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in four starts against Texas, including 2-0, 1.80 in three turns this year.