While Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin’s risky decisions have led the team astray in the past, they were all forgiven in the team’s win against the Cincinnati Bengals. It was a truly glorious defeat. The Steelers won 33-20, a victory that holds the added satisfaction of defeating a team that has done nothing to mask their distaste for the Steelers. After their defeat, the Bengals retreated to social media platforms such as Twitter to bad-talk the Steelers from the safety of their computers.
The animosity between the Steelers and Bengals did nothing to curb the excitement of Steelers fans when this game was won, however. This win marked the 90th career win for Coach Mike Tomlin, which gives him a spot in Steelers history. He is the third Steelers head coach ever to reach this number of wins. Additionally, the Steelers are the only team in NFL history to have three head coaches reach this 90 career win mark.
Not only was this win a big moment for Coach Tomlin, but it also gave the Steelers another chance to secure a spot in the AFC playoffs, although they are not there yet. Their standing is 8-5, and, if they lose against Denver, it will drop to 8-6. They are only number 7 in the AFC, which means they have a long way to go and a lot of focus to maintain. Their position remains at this level, of course, because both the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs won their games on Sunday as well. Whether or not the Steelers pull ahead in week 15 depends on whether or not the Jets win against the Dallas Cowboys, and whether or not the Chiefs win against the Baltimore Ravens. This one is a nail biter, but I have faith in the Steelers.
What does Coach Tomlin have to say about his new standing in NFL history? Well, not much. He is too focused on getting the Steelers into the playoffs, as he should be. The win against the Bengals, however, is something to be celebrated. Tomlin kept a level head despite the drama that was happening between his players and those on the Bengals team. The Bengals were taking an unprofessional approach even before the game began. They goaded the Steelers into a scuffle before the start of Sunday’s game and, even before that, some of the Bengals players took to their Instagram accounts to spew profanity at the Steelers. This is not the way anyone should be approaching football.
So, the Steelers are still in the running for the playoffs. No matter how slim their chances may seem at this point, Coach Tomlin has shown his dedication to the game. He is making better decisions now, and I am confident that those decisions will only drive the team forward.