Any Steelers fan who was watching the Steelers vs Seahawks game on Sunday lost a little bit of faith in Coach Mike Tomlin. He has a reputation of being a wild card – sometimes he takes chances and sometimes he doesn’t. Nobody can figure out a pattern, but overall we trust his judgement. On Sunday, however, he was in the mood to take chances, and it did not work in his favor.
Things were looking bright for the Steelers through the first quarter. They were in the lead until Coach Tomlin made the decision to try a fake field goal that cost the Steelers the game. There was too much leisure time in the quarter. Coach Tomlin envisioned that sending backup quarterback Landry Jones out with the field goal team, instead of the routine punter Jordan Berry, would be sneaky enough to work. Unfortunately, the fake field goal did not happen quickly enough. The Seahawks realized that Jones was on the field and had enough time to get into defensive position and intercept the ball.
The Seahawks had a suspicion that Coach Tomlin would try a fake play, and therefore they were prepared to act as soon as they caught sight of Jones on the field.
A second gamble that put the Steelers behind happened just minutes before the end of the game. We all saw it – it was 32-27 with the Seahawks in the lead. It was the fourth down with less than 10 yards to the goal line. All the Steelers had to do was get a touchdown to turn the tables. However, Chris Boswell ended up kicking a field goal to almost even the score instead.
Coach Tomlin rationalized this decision with the idea that his defense would take care of the Seahawks and give the offense a little more wiggle room to get ahead. That was, obviously, not the case. Three plays later, when the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson made yet another touchdown pass, we all knew the game was over. The score was 39-30 with the Seahawks in the lead, and there was not enough time to bounce back.
The Seahawks accumulated points for the rest of the game, through interceptions that became touchdowns, and a lack of necessary Steelers defense. The defensive players were surprisingly lax this game, letting the Seahawks get through them to score five touchdowns.
Of course, this leaves the question: how will the Steelers make the playoffs?
I still believe in Coach Tomlin, even though I do not believe in some of the decisions he made during Sunday’s game. Perhaps the loss will cause him to be more conservative during games where his gambles don’t work the first time. All in all, we want the Steelers to make the playoffs. Let’s hope their coach learns from this loss, and the defensive players get back on their game.
To read more about Sunday’s Steelers vs. Seahawks game, check out the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.