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Big Ben: We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Toussaint


The Steelers benefited last week when Jeremy Hill's game-changing fumble gave Pittsburgh new life.

On Sunday, the script was flipped, with Steelers running back Fitzgerald Toussaint committing the game's lone turnover in a 23-16 Divisional Round loss to the Broncos.

With the Black and Gold nursing a 13-12 lead and driving, Toussaint darted off left tackle with room to run before Denver's Bradley Roby popped the ball loose. The Broncos recovered and made the most of it, marching downfield for a 13-play touchdown drive that put Denver ahead for good.

"The bottom line is, you lose the turnover battle in a hostile environment versus good people, it's going to cost you," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of the fumble. "It cost us today."

Toussaint isn't the only goat in a game like this, but his mistake won't be forgotten in the 'Burgh after the Steelers looked like the better team on offense for much of the game. His teammates, though, rushed to his defense.

"I feel for all of us ... but we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him," Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said of Toussaint. "... I'm so proud of the way he played."

To be fair, the Steelers had the ball again with three minutes left and a chance to tie the game, only to fizzle out on a five-play series that went nowhere.

It was an ugly end to a season that saw Pittsburgh display remarkable resilience and nearly reach the NFL's final four with a laundry list of stars in street clothes.

As with so many of these playoff tilts, though, the final result boiled down to one key mistake, and a play that Steelers fans -- and Toussaint -- will live with all offseason. Luckily, his team won't allow him to suffer alone:


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