And the special teams committed the gaffe that seemed to inspire the Titans, much the way Darren McFadden's 64-yard touchdown run in Oakland invigorated the Raiders and changed the momentum of that game. The Steelers allowed linebacker Tim Shaw to come untouched and block a Drew Butler punt that was recovered at the 1, leading to a Titans touchdown that gave them a 13-10 lead.
"We just got to make plays at the end of game," said Wallace, who connected for his 12th touchdown of 40 yards or longer with Ben Roethlisberger -- most among active duos in the NFL. "We're just not making the plays to win the game. It's not rocket science."
But it is the failure of the defense to protect the lead in the fourth quarter that has been as disconcerting as it is consistent.
The Steelers have failed to protect a fourth-quarter lead in all three losses. And they blew a fourth-quarter lead against the Eagles before Shaun Suisham won the game with a field goal.
"It's nothing mystical -- people are scoring," Clark said. "We got to find a way to stop this. We have to find a way to plug a hole in the dike."
It appeared the Steelers did when Lawrence Timmons intercepted a Matt Hasselbeck pass at the Titans 45 that led to Suisham's 52-yard field goal and a 23-16 lead. But the Titans scored on each of their final two possessions to come back for the victory.
"I'm not concerned at all," said Woodley, who did not play because of a hamstring injury. "We just got to find a way to close it out. We had the opportunity to close it out, we just didn't take advantage."
That's what they said in '09 when it was already too late.
The Steelers released tight end Weslye Saunders after he served his four-game NFL suspension for violating the league's banned-substance policy -- a move made because of the development of rookie David Paulson.
The team had until 4 p.m. Friday to decide if they wanted to keep Saunders or release Paulson or veteran backup Leonard Pope.
Pope, who was signed in free agency from the Kansas City Chiefs, where he played for offensive coordinator Todd Haley, has not played the past two games. But, as a vested veteran, Pope would have to be paid the one-year minimum of $840,000 even if he were released.
Paulson, a sixth-round pick, has played extensively the past two games and was lauded by coach Mike Tomlin last week that "he's proven that [the game] is not too big for him ... He's an attention-to-detail guy."
Saunders was suspended because he took the stimulant Adderall, which is on the league's banned-substance list.
No fine for Mundy
Safety Ryan Mundy was not fined for his hit on Philadelphia Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin, a play on which Mundy was penalized 15 yards for a "helmet hit," an NFL spokesman said.
Replay appeared to indicate that Mundy hit Maclin in the shoulder area with his shoulder pads, not his helmet. Mundy already has been fined $21,000 for a hit on Oakland Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, a play on which he was not penalized.
Gerry Dulac: email@example.com; twitter: @gerrydulac.
(c)2012 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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