RB Jaylen Warren Spills Truth on Whether Steelers Overlooked Cardinals

Jaylen Warren

Getty Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Warren argued the team took the Arizona Cardinals too "lightly."

Several leaders of the Pittsburgh Steelers pushed back on the popular Steel City narrative that the team lost 24-10 at home to the Arizona Cardinals on December 3 because they overlooked an inferior opponent. But Steelers running back Jaylen Warren didn’t agree.

“I guess just taking them lightly — lighter than we should have,” Warren said to reporters, via Steelers Now’s Nick Farabaugh, when describing the Week 13 loss.

Warren’s answers became even more damning from there.

“Yeah, there could be,” Warren said to a question about whether there was a problem with the team’s preparation. “We let the highs get too high.”

The Steelers outgained the Cincinnati Bengals 421-222 in Week 12 — just seven days prior to the embarrassing home loss to the Cardinals.

Steelers’ Mike Tomlin, T.J. Watt, Mitch Trubisky Swear Team Didn’t Lose Because of Poor Preparation

Steelers fans love to criticize head coach Mike Tomlin when the team loses to an inferior opponent. At halftime against the Cardinals, the phrase “typical Tomlin” was trending on X (formerly Twitter) among Steeler Nation.

The comments from Warren will be like throwing gasoline on that fire.

The rest of the Steelers leaders, though, including Tomlin himself, argued the team didn’t overlooked the Cardinals.

“No. We look at ourselves in the quality of our player or the lack thereof,” Tomlin said during his press conference. “It wasn’t there today.”

It wasn’t as if Tomlin shied away from criticizing his team either. He just didn’t find an issue with the team’s focus.

“That was a horrible day at the office. We didn’t do much right in that game, to be quite honest with you,” Tomlin told reporters. “We have to own that, obviously, starting first and foremost with me. Just losing football. It really was.

“We were highly penalized, some pre-snap penalties, some operational penalties, bad snaps. Just JV football in a lot of ways.”

Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt and quarterback Mitch Trubisky didn’t take issue with the team’s focus either.

“I feel like the team’s ready every week,” Watt told reporters.

“I don’t think so,” Trubisky said when asked if the team took the Cardinals lightly. “This is the NFL. Anybody could beat anybody if you don’t bring your best stuff, and if you didn’t know that, you learned it today.

“I felt like the guys were focused and locked in throughout the week.”

Jaylen Warren, Steelers Sloppy in Home Loss to Cardinals

Whether it was a focus problem or an execution issue, the Steelers played their worst game of the 2023 season in Week 13.

The Steelers outgained the Cardinals, 317-282, but Arizona held an edge in third-down efficiency, red-zone scoring and the turnover margin.

Pittsburgh also committed 9 penalties for 77 yards. It was the second-most fouls and penalty yardage in a game for the Steelers this season.

The Steelers had 166 offensive yards in the first half, but they only scored 3 points. They couldn’t convert fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line on their last significant possession of the half.

The Cardinals converted five third-down attempts on a 99-yard touchdown drive to end the second quarter.

A lost fumble and missed field goal halted any chance of a second-half Steelers comeback. The Cardinals scored a touchdown after the only turnover of the game.

Arizona reached the end zone on all three of its red zone possessions.

Warren averaged 6.6 yards per carry. But with the Steelers trailing the entire second half, he only had 9 attempts in the entire game.

The Steelers will have an opportunity to showcase better preparation and execution in just four days against the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football.

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