Kicking situation could cost the Steelers a Super Bowl


The Steelers were without four of their top players Thursday night in Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Shazier, Maurkice Pouncey and Martavis Bryant.

They still should have beaten the Ravens -- and would have beaten them with a reliable kicker.

Super Bowl hopes are getting derailed if this position doesn’t get fixed. The Steelers hope Chris Boswell, Josh Scobee's replacement and their fourth kicker since early August, will make enough kicks to stay on the roster the rest of the way.

By trading for Scobee before the season, the Steelers went for a short-term fix that backfired. They were desperate after injuries to Shaun Suisham and Garrett Hartley. So a methodical franchise was forced to react.

Now, a team that values draft picks wasted a sixth-rounder after Scobee had two games with multiple misses. To be sure, Scobee was a reliable veteran in Jacksonville. But there were other free-agent kickers they could have tried out and signed.

Once Roethlisberger returns, with Pouncey on his way, this team is poised for a serious run. The defense is seventh in the league in points allowed and created three turnovers against the Ravens, sacking Joe Flacco five times. The outlook for this defense is more promising than the one that finished in the league's bottom third in several statistical categories last year.

They should be 3-1. The kicking game cost them at least one win, and there could be more if Boswell isn't the answer.

The Steelers are out of options at this point. They must hope for the best.

Or a string of blowout victories.

Without Roethlisberger for at least the next few weeks, that's not likely. Boswell will get at least one pressure kick.

Maybe the Steelers are due some good fortune in this area.