Sportress of Blogitude

Mike Tomlin settles for field goal, then says you can’t settle for one


The decision by Mike Tomlin to settle for a field goal late in the fourth quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ eventual 39-30 loss the Seattle Seahawks was met with much scrutiny. And comments made by Tomlin Tuesday while discussing the game are nothing but curious in light of that decision.

“We settled for field goals,” Tomlin said during his Tuesday press conference, per a tweet from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette. “You can’t do that against good people in their place.”

With the Steelers down by five with 3:02 remaining and facing a 4th-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Tomlin elected to kick a field goal, which made the score 32-30 and put Pittsburgh in a must-stop situation on Seattle’s next possession.

Instead of forcing a much-needed three-and-out, the Steelers instead gave up an 80-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin, sealing a Seattle victory.

The Steelers did in fact “settle” for two other field goals from Chris Boswell before the one in question, so Tomlin is correct that scoring touchdowns instead of putting three points on the board to end each of those drives could have changed the outcome of the game.

Tomlin did elaborate on the call beyond the above curious comment, thoughts that arguably bolster his defense of the now-controversial decision.

“Whether or not we kicked a field goal or went for a touchdown and got that touchdown or didn’t get that touchdown, a subsequent stop was going to be required,” he said via Steelers Depot. “With that understanding, I wanted to increase the amount of positivity in terms of us moving the ball down to that position. I took the three points. It was going to required that we have a stop regardless in order to win the game.

“I wanted to T the defense up from a momentum standpoint. A positive momentum standpoint…I wasn’t concerned about our ability to get back down the field based on what transpired to that point offensively. We had no problems moving the ball.”

Fair points. Or at least far less curious ones.