Mike Tomlin defends fourth-and-1 punt

Wild Card Round - Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin all but waved a white flag of surrender when he sent his punting team on the field on fourth-and-1 near midfield while trailing 35-23 on Sunday night. But afterward, Tomlin defended the move.

Tomlin cited trusting his defense and field position for the punt.

We had some stops, wanted to pin them down, maybe provide the short field for our offense,” Tomlin said, via ESPN. “We had maybe two or three consecutive stops. I just wanted to keep the momentum going in terms of field positioning. But we weren’t good enough in terms of doing that.”

But the Steelers’ defense didn’t get a stop. Instead, the Browns marched down the field for a touchdown on the ensuing drive, giving them a 42-23 lead.

If Tomlin had gone for it on fourth-and-1, the Steelers probably would have lost anyway. They were, after all, trailing by 12 points and getting thoroughly outplayed. But going for it at least would have given the Steelers a shot. Punting ended their last realistic chance of a comeback.

9 responses to “Mike Tomlin defends fourth-and-1 punt

  1. They lost this game the moment they rested starters in week 17…History says resting starters almost never works…but for some reason…teams still do it…like they’re gonna be the exception to the rule…

  2. Tomlin is a coward & his time in Pitt has run its course. He still is a good coach but him & Ben need to process their exit visas. Horrid DC Butler and unimaginative OC Fichtner need to be dispatched as well.

  3. Tomlin left too many points out on the field. His coaching was suspect and the offensive play calling was bad. Where in the heck was the defense?? 4 picks Ben?? Bad 2-point conversions?? Time to clean house.
    Not a Steelers fan but the tripping comments are getting old…….

  4. I keep wondering why the world thinks this coach is an upper echelon coach. He has never won the big game consistently. His super bowl win was not a result of great game plan, and he has consistently enabled his players instead of leading them and holding them accountable. Good coach yes-great coach-I really do not see it.

  5. I didn’t have a problem with it. You could go either way there, but the Browns had only scored once since the first quarter. Bottom line is that you’re not going to win too many games with five turnovers, and that was directly on Roethlisberger. He stunk it up.

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