PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger was talking about another win slipping away. It only sounded like he was talking about his team's enigmatic season.
"We felt good," the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback said. "We felt that we had it."
Until, the Steelers didn't.
One Antonio Brown fumbled punt return and one fantastic interception by Dallas cornerback Brandon Carr on the second play of overtime and Pittsburgh had somehow turned a seven-point, fourth-quarter lead into a 27-24 loss.
"We know that's not Steeler football and that's not what we are capable of," Brown said. "We've got to be better."
Time's a wasting.
The Steelers (7-7), arguably the NFL's hottest team at the midway point, have dropped four of their last five, their worst stretch since a season-draining five-game slide in 2009 sent the then-defending Super Bowl champions tumbling out of the playoffs.
Things aren't quite as dire this time around. Wins over Cincinnati (8-6) and Cleveland (5-9) in the next two weeks and Pittsburgh will advance to the postseason for the third straight year. The Steelers have won 13 of the last 20 meetings in Pittsburgh with the Bengals and Cleveland has triumphed just twice in the Steel City since the franchise was reborn in 1999.
"I think we still have a chance to right our wrongs here," tight end Heath Miller said. "We've got two games left. We just have to keeping chipping away at it."
Something the Steelers have only done with intermittent success this fall. Pittsburgh started 2-3 before ripping off four straight wins, including a 24-20 win in New Jersey on Nov. 4 over the Giants that seemed to signal a return to dominance.