Facing a fourth and one from the Indianapolis Colts 11-yard-line with 5:21 left in the game and the Pittsburgh Steelers leading by 10 points, I’m sure that many of you, like me, were expecting a quarterback sneak or some sort of other run when the offense lined up to go for it. Neither of those two things happened, however, as the Steelers went for the knockout punch through the air instead.
Yes, instead of a sneak or a run, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger rolled out his right and threw to a wide open Heath Miller, who had released from the left side of the line of scrimmage.
After the game, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talked about his decision to go for it on fourth down instead of taking a chip-shot field goal that would’ve put the team up by 13 points.
“Just like I said, I’m not kicking the field goal right there and go up by 13 (points and) have these guys put two late touchdowns on the board,” said Tomlin. “We were not taking our foot off the gas.”
I was glad to see the Steelers go for it in that situation because like Tomlin indicated, a field goal still would’ve allowed the Colts to hang around. I didn’t however, expect them to throw on fourth and one and I can only imagine the anger that many fans would’ve had if the pass had fallen incomplete or if Roethlisberger would’ve been sacked.
It was a gutsy called and it worked. That’s all that matters. Too many times we’ve seen the Steelers defense give away close games late in the fourth quarter and Tomlin wanted to do his best to not allow that to happen Sunday.
Tomlin clearly did not live in his fears late Sunday and in not doing so he put the ball in the hands of his quarterback and his quarterback delivered.