As a result of the loss to the division rival Cincinnati Bengals in Week 16 at Heinz Field, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been knocked out of playoff contention in the AFC. The Bengals clinched a playoff berth with the win while the Baltimore Ravens won the AFC North division title as a result of their win over the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
Along with the playoff no longer a possibility for the Steelers, Pittsburgh suffered a major blow in the loss to the Bengals with one-time Pro Bowl tight Heath Miller going down with a season-ending injury according to ESPN.com:
Steelers tight end Heath Miller tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Sunday and will not play in the regular-season finale against the Cleveland Browns.
“Unfortunately his season comes to an end,” Tomlin said. “He has been rock solid for us and we really appreciate his efforts. We understand injuries are a part of the game, but unfortunately it brings his season to a close.”
Miller was one of Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite targets in the offense once again this season with 71 receptions. Miller put up career-high numbers with 816 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games for the Steelers before going down in Week 16.
The Steelers will go head-to-head in a meaningless matchup against the division rival Cleveland Browns in the regular-season finale on Sunday. Pittsburgh may very well be headed towards some changes in the off-season with the team failing to get it done in the final weeks of this season despite multiple opportunities to bounce back and punch their ticket to the playoffs.
Two-time Super Bowl champion Roethlisberger was clearly unhappy with the offensive schemes over the past few weeks and voiced his displeasure for the decisions made by offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Roethlisberger recently said that he’s fine with Haley’s decisions as of late, but there’s clearly some tension between the two moving forward.