The Pittsburgh Steelers lost Sunday 16-10 to the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field and while their offense certainly didn’t play well in the game, most of the talk this next week will likely center around the decision made by head coach Mike Tomlin to not call a timeout ahead of the two-minute warning and his team down by 3 points.
With 2:44 left in the game and the ball at the Steelers 26-yard-line, the Pittsburgh defense stopped Bengals running back Jeremy Hill for a one-yard gain on first down. Instead of calling the team’s first timeout with approximately 38 seconds left, Tomlin chose to let the clock run down to the two-minute warning.
Tomlin then proceeded to use two timeouts after each of Hill’s next two runs and the Bengals kicked a field goal to go up by 6 points with 1:51 left in the game.
After the game was over, Tomlin was asked about his clock management decision.
“To me, having the timeout was more significant than the 38 seconds,” said Tomlin. “They’re [the Bengals] a great situational football team, especially in two minute. [I] wanted to have the ability to work the middle of the field.”
After the Bengals ensuing kickoff that went for a touchback, the Steelers managed to drive down to the Bengals 16-yard-line. That drive started with 1:47 left on the clock. With 4 seconds left in the contest, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw long into the back of the end zone on a pass intended for wide receiver Antonio Brown and the game was over.