After Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown scored a 31-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left in last Sunday’s 28-21 win over the Bengals, there were two big questions hanging in the air.
One was whether the Steelers committed offensive pass interference to spring Brown. Many thought a flag should have been thrown, but the officials didn’t call anything and NFL officiating head Al Riveron defended that decision.
The other question concerned the Bengals’ decision to call a cover-zero blitz that left no safety available to chase Brown down after Ben Roethlisberger hit him with a short pass. Bengals defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said Monday that he wanted a “negative play” that would make it harder for the Steelers to kick a field goal to win the game.
“The one thing I don’t ever want to do, I don’t want to second-guess myself, I don’t want our players to second-guess themselves when they’re out there playing,” Austin said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “So we’re going to play aggressively. We’re playing to win. And I thought at that point, that gave us the best chance to win. I didn’t want to leave it into the field goal kicker’s hands and allow him because it’s not every day you block a field goal.”
The Bengals didn’t have any success getting to Roethlisberger whether they blitzed or went with a four-man rush, so Austin’s unit may have wound up short regardless of whether he went down swinging or not.