Steelers coach Mike Tomlin waved a white flag for a pass when he sent his team pounding on the pitch at fourth and 1 near the midfield as he fell behind 35-23 on Sunday night. But then Tomlin defended the move.
Tomlin cites confidence in the defense and position on the punt field.
“We had a few stops, we wanted to fix them, maybe we’ll provide a short field for our violation,” Tomlin told ESPN. “We had two or three consecutive stops. I just wanted to keep my momentum in positioning the field. But we weren’t good enough at that. “
But the Steelers’ defense didn’t stop. Instead, the browns marched across the touchdown field on the ensuing drive, leading 42-23.
If Tomlin had agreed to fourth and first, the Steelers would probably have lost anyway. In the end, they were 12 points behind and were completely outplayed. But if we did, at least he would give the Steelers a chance. Punting ended their last realistic chance of returning.