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No fire, brimstone from Steelers

Mike Tomlin promised the Steelers would unleash hell in December.

Well, after Sunday's troubling 27-24 loss to the Raiders at Heinz Field, Tomlin would have been better off saying the Steelers would unleash H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. That's about as watered-down as you can get.

The Raiders admitted after the game that Tomlin's comments motivated them. It least it motivated someone because Tomlin certainly didn't seem to inspire his own team.

Maybe the Steelers just weren't that motivated to play the Raiders. Heck, everyone thought it would be a gimmie. You had a team thought  to be one of the worst in the league traveling from the West Coast to face a wounded Steelers' team looking to end a three-game losing streak.

The offense couldn't sustain a drive in the first three quarters and when they found their groove, the defense predictably faltered when it was needed the most.

That's how a three-game losing streak becomes four games.

A team led by a journeyman quarterback (sorry, Bruce Gradkowski) and a bunch of wide receivers that even most fantasy leaguers never heard should never have the kind of success they did in the fourth quarter against someone like the Browns let alone the Steelers.

Of course, it helps when defense backs can't cover receivers and it makes it even worse when they can't catch the ball.

The Steelers got a break Monday night when the Ravens lost to the Packers. They don't control their own destiny, but they still have a chance to make the postseason.

However, talk of running the table to end the season needs to stop.

They simply need to get a win against the Browns on Thursday.

And right now, after a season that includes losses to the Bears, Chiefs and Raiders, that seems less of a certainty than it did a week ago.

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