The Pitsburgh head coach revealed he fell asleep before the Raiders put the Steelers into the playoffs with a dramatic overtime win over the Chargers.
PITTSBURGH — While the rest of Pittsburgh was on the edge of their bucket seats as they watched the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders play on Sunday night, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was asleep.
Tomlin admitted he missed the game-winning field goal in overtime by Raiders placekicker Daniel Carlson that sent the Steelers to the playoffs.RELATED
Mike Tomlin revealed that he fell asleep before Daniel Carlson made the game-winning field goal in overtime that gave the Raiders victory over the Chargers, putting the Steelers in the postseason. AP Photo
“I fell asleep,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “I knew I was expecting a day of work, or I assumed I was expecting a day of work. I think that at some point, [los Raiders] They were up by 15, and that number made you somewhat comfortable.
“I was probably better off not seeing him.”
He’s not the only member of the Steelers who missed the end of the Raiders’ 35-32 victory in real time. Wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud met with a few teammates to watch the game, but because they kept coming back, the group was behind the live broadcast when Carlson’s field goal prevented a tie that would have left the Steelers (9-7-1) out of the playoffs.
“My little brother called me,” McCloud said Monday. “He was like, ‘It’s rigged, bro. It’s rigged.’ Then he called me back and said, ‘They’re fine, they’re fine.’
“I was like, ‘Did they get it?’ So when I saw it personally, I already knew they had done it. It was definitely a relief. It was a fun match.”
Now that the Steelers — who had just a 9 percent chance of making the playoffs entering the final day of the regular season, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index — are in the postseason, the challenge ahead is tough. . They will face the Kansas City Chiefs (12-5) in the AFC Wild Card Round at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. Just three weeks ago, the Steelers were blown out by the Chiefs 36-10.
“We got beat up, definitely,” Tomlin admitted. “So we understand that. But at the same time, we are not paralyzed by it. We accept that we did not play well enough last time. We accept that we did not plan well enough last time. But, that was last time.”
Tomlin also accepted that it was not a performance that could salvage much for his team.
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“I don’t know how much you can learn from that, to be very honest with you,” he revealed. “They crushed us so completely. More than anything, it’s like a reboot.”
In that game, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was 23 of 30 for 258 yards and three touchdowns, while Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left early and threw for 159 yards and a touchdown with an interception.
Since then, the Steelers have posted two wins, against the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens, to reach the playoffs.
“I can’t say enough good things about this group,” Tomlin explained. “Their commitment, their fight, their loyalty. They are not in this tournament unless you have some of those things, and something else.
“I don’t think we are unique compared to the other 13 teams, but we appreciate what it is that we had to do to be part of this group.”
The last two wins were partially fueled by Roethlisberger’s urgency and his last: one final home game and one final regular-season game. And Tomlin said it’s “our intention” to continue riding that wave.
He also said that the experience of those close games, coupled with the roller coaster that the season has been, should help the club in the playoffs.
“Collectively we are accommodating ourselves in a lot of circumstances where most are uncomfortable,” Tomlin explained. “I think we have been hardened by this process. It has not been an easy journey for us, and I think we are getting comfortable with being in these settings.
“… I think we’re capable of executing individually and collectively from that experience. Hopefully, that helps us as we proceed to the playoffs. We understand that the playoffs are a different level.”