Mike Tomlin, when requested to recall the final time he was this upset following a Pittsburgh Steelers victory, couldn’t supply a solution after his group barely eked previous a vastly undermanned Baltimore Ravens group on Wednesday, 19-14. A double-digit favourite, the Steelers, who have been lacking three starters heading into Sunday’s recreation, struggled to defeat a Ravens group that was and not using a host of their key contributors that included quarterback Lamar Jackson, working backs Mark Ingram and J.Ok. Dobbins, tight finish Mark Andrews, receiver Willie Snead, offensive linemen Matt Skura and Patrick Mekari, defensive linemen Brandon Williams, Calais Campbell, Justin Madubuike, Jihad Ward, and outdoors linebackers Pernell McPhee, Jaylon Ferguson and Matthew Judon.
“To be bluntly sincere, I am actually disillusioned in our efficiency tonight,” Tomlin stated, by way of Will Graves of the Related Press. “We did sufficient to win tonight, that is all.”
When requested to particularly reply what side of the win disillusioned him most, Tomlin spared no place.
“It was in all three phases,” stated Tomlin, whose group improved to 11-0 on Wednesday night time, though you’d by no means understand it by watching his press convention. “We could not run the ball successfully after we wanted to. We dropped too many vital passes, very succesful, makable passes. We did not make vital performs within the particular groups recreation. Our kickoff protection unit wasn’t ok. We turned the [expletive] ball over. We gave up large performs in crucial moments on protection. Cannot have it. They transformed a future on a possession down earlier than the half. Unacceptable. They’ve a 70-yard late within the recreation. Unacceptable.
“We’re lucky tonight. It is good to proceed with the victory. I acknowledge that, however not loads occurred tonight to be happy with or be enthusiastic about aside from that.”
As Tomlin alluded to, the Steelers’ receivers dropped a number of passes in essential moments. These drops largely contributed to Pittsburgh scoring a landing on simply one among their 4 pink zone possessions. One in every of these fruitless finish zone journeys ended with Ben Roethlisberger throwing an interception to linebacker Tyus Bowser. And whereas Roethlisberger nonetheless accomplished 71% of his passes, that does not seem to carry a lot consolation to Tomlin, who supplied a blunt response when requested what might be attributed to the drops.
“Us sucking,” Tomlin stated.
Tomlin declined to supply reward when a reporter requested about how the success Pittsburgh’s working recreation had with Benny Snell in the course of the recreation’s remaining possession, as Snell (together with a clutch third-down catch by James Washington) enabled the Steelers to expire the clock after the Ravens had pulled to inside 5 factors.
“It is a optimistic when it comes to the efforts of Benny Snell, to be fairly sincere of you,” stated Tomlin, who stated that he wasn’t fearful about his group’s pass-happy offensive strategy (the Steelers threw 51 instances and ran 20 instances). “However there was too many unblocked folks on the level of assault and issues of that nature. It is extra reflective of the person efforts of Benny Snell.”
Baltimore’s first landing was arrange by Ray-Ray McCloud’s muffed punt. The Ravens’ second landing was a breakdown within the secondary that allowed backup quarterback Hint McSorley to finish a 70-yard landing cross to Marquise Brown. In between, the Steelers’ protection largely took benefit of the Ravens’ outmanned offense. The one exception passed off close to the tip of the primary half, when a 39-yard run by Robert Griffin Iii put the Ravens in place to take the lead. Baltimore got here up empty, nonetheless, when Griffen failed to attach with tight finish Luke Willson ultimately zone on the final half of the half.
Regardless of the underwhelming group efficiency, the Steelers did take pleasure in a number of robust particular person performances. T.J. Watt racked up two of Pittsburgh’s three sacks. Joe Haden’s pick-six of Griffen received the Steelers on the board. Snell, enjoying in aid of James Conner, racked up 93 whole yards on 19 touches. J.C Hassenauer, who had simply 42 profession common season snaps previous to Wednesday, stuffed in for Maurkice Pouncey after the eight-time Professional Bowl middle was positioned on the group’s reserve/COVID-19 checklist hours earlier than kickoff.
Whereas these performances deserve point out, Tomlin is aware of that his group’s general effort Wednesday night time was less than the extent they may want shifting ahead. The Steelers, in spite of everything, are only one recreation forward of the defending champion Chiefs for the AFC’s No. 1 seed. Pittsburgh may be pressured to additional increase their collective efforts if outdoors linebacker Bud Dupree did tear an ACL throughout Wednesday’s win. The Steelers are 11-0, however, as Tomlin made clear in his postgame presser, there may be nonetheless loads of work that must be carried out.
Tomlin would not consider that Pittsburgh’s points, in all three phases, is just not one thing that ought to carry over into Monday’s 5 p.m. kickoff towards Washington. Whereas they could have ignored the Ravens, do not count on the Steelers to make the identical mistake towards a Washington group that may come to Pittsburgh with a two-game profitable streak in tow.
“We do not have to reinvent the wheel. It isn’t some transformational factor that should transpire. We have to teach higher and play higher after we get contained in the bowl. So I count on our group to play higher on Monday night time.”