Mike Tomlin Thought Pittsburgh Punt At Midfield, Cincinnati Long TD Drive ‘Was A Significant Sequence’ That Decided The Game

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ hopes of getting the season back on track after winning their first game off their bye week last week against the Saints hit a bump in the road after losing to the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday 37-30. The offense put up 30 points for the first time all season, but still dealt with major inefficiencies in the second half which led to more possessions for the Bengals offense. The defense didn’t hold up their end of things well either as they surrendered 355 yards and four TDs to QB Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ passing attack.

Mike Tomlin opened his post-game press conference stating that the field position battle in the second half was the turning point of the game, specifically when Pittsburgh got the ball at the Cincinnati 47-yard line and went three-and-out after having back-to-back penalties set them back to 3rd-and-25. Pittsburgh pinned the Bengals deep on their own seven-yard line, but they managed to drive the length of the field and put it in the end zone to make it a two score game.

When Tomlin was asked about that sequence of the penalties and punt by the Steelers and the long TD drive by the Bengals, Tomlin didn’t hesitate by calling that sequence of the game as the deciding factor of the end outcome.

“That is a significant sequence,” Tomlin said to the media Sunday during his post-game press conference which aired on the team’s YouTube channel. “I thought that was a significant sequence that defined the second half and ultimately the outcome of the game. We got the ball at midfield and didn’t produce points. We pinned them back and they go the length of the field. That’s a significant swing.”

Pittsburgh was up at halftime, leading the Bengals 20-17. However, they were yet again unable to get anything going offensively in the second half until garbage time when Cincinnati jumped to a two-score lead with little time remaining and Cincinnati going to more of a soft prevent defense. Pittsburgh’s second half struggles on offense have plagued them throughout the season and this game was no exception as Tomlin pointed out earlier in his presser.

“We just weren’t able to get the type of rhythm that we needed in an effort to control the game, um, in the manner in which we did in the first half,” Tomlin said regarding the offense.

The defense cannot be abstained from blame as they cannot let the Bengals drive 93 yards down the field and put it in the end zone. However, the offense cannot rely on the defense constantly bailing them out of every game either. In the first half, they showed that they could go shot-for-shot with Cincinnati. However, they fizzled out yet again when they needed to finish strong in order to secure victory, instead falling in defeat.

Until this offense learns how to put together a full game, we can come to expect similar results like we saw today unless the defense makes a play or two to change the outcome of the game. They did just that with the T.J. Watt interception, but even that wasn’t enough to put Pittsburgh on top in this one.

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