Monday, November 5, 2012
Upon Further Review: Steelers
By Jamison Hensley
Revisiting the Pittsburgh Steelers' 24-20 win at the New York Giants:
The Steelers' Mike Tomlin tied Chuck Knox as the fourth-fastest to reach 60 victories among coaches who began their careers since 1970. Tomlin notched the milestone win 88 games, which is faster than Bill Cowher (90 games).
But Sunday's game was far from Tomlin's finest moment as a coach. Down by three to the Giants in the fourth quarter, Tomlin called for a fake field goal on fourth-and-1. The risky decision -- which involved flipping the ball to kicker Shaun Suisham for a run to the right -- resulted in a 1-yard loss and could've cost Pittsburgh the game.
Instead, the Steelers' defense forced the Giants to punt from the 7-yard line after that failed trickery. Ben Roethlisberger then led the Steelers on a winning 51-yard touchdown drive that got Tomlin off the hook.
"I took a shot and the guys backed my play like I knew they would and I appreciate that," Tomlin said. "They overcame bad coaching sometimes and that's on me."
Tomlin has done a great coaching job this season, keeping the Steelers from falling apart after disappointing road losses and a run of injuries. But he didn't need to take such a gamble in the fourth quarter when the Steelers had just regained the momentum.
STAT THAT STICKS: 88.9 -- Roethlisberger's completion rate on third downs against the Giants. He completed 8 of 9 passes on third downs, averaging 10.3 yards per attempt and throwing one touchdown.
OVERHEARD: "I saw a lot of NFL superstar millionaires sleeping on the floor pregame in the hotel [lobby] with rolled-up shirts as pillows. But, hey, football's football. You put the ball down on the grass, and we'll play." Linebacker Larry Foote told USA Today on the Steelers arriving hours before kickoff Sunday to play at the Giants.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Steelers (5-3) play host to the last-place Chiefs (1-7) on "Monday Night Football." Pittsburgh is 0-2 in prime-time games this season.