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Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Plays that shaped Steelers' season: No. 9

By Scott Brown

PITTSBURGH -- Here is the next installment of plays that shaped the Pittsburgh Steelers' season.

No. 9

The play: Shaun Suisham misses a 32-yard field with just under six minutes left in the third quarter at Oakland in Week 8.

The situation: The Steelers, trailing 21-3, opened the third quarter with a drive that consumed more than nine minutes but stalled at the Raiders' 14-yard line. Suisham had missed a 34-yard field goal attempt earlier in the game, and he pushed the 32-yarder right of the goal posts.

Why it mattered:  The Steelers ultimately lost by a field goal in Oakland, 21-18, and the two that Suisham botched were his only misses of the season in 32 attempts. It can be argued that the Raiders may have played less conservatively on offense had Suisham made the two kicks inside of 35 yards. But Oakland’s offense had all but gone into the fetal position after the Raiders took a 21-3 lead. The Raiders gained 245 yards of total offense before the first of Suisham's misses and just 34 yards the rest of the game. Nothing better summed up the most inexplicable loss of the season -- and yet another one to Oakland -- than the normally automatic Suisham missing from a relatively short distance. Twice.