Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says he fell asleep earlier than crew clinched playoff spot

PITTSBURGH — Whereas the remainder of Pittsburgh was on the sting of their seats watching the Chargers and Raiders late Sunday night time, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was asleep.

Tomlin admitted he did not see the game-winning, additional time subject aim by Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson that in the end despatched his crew to the playoffs.

“I dozed off,” Tomlin mentioned Tuesday. “I knew I had a workday ready on me, or I assumed that I had a workday ready on me. I feel at one level, [the Raiders] have been up by 15, and that quantity made you considerably comfy.

“I am most likely higher off not having watched it.”

He isn’t the one Steeler who missed the tip of the sport in actual time. Large receiver Ray Ray McCloud gathered with some teammates to look at the sport, however as a result of they stored rewinding it, the group was behind when Carlson’s subject aim prevented a tie that may’ve stored the Steelers (9-7-1) out of the playoffs.

“My little brother known as me,” McCloud mentioned Monday. “He was like, ‘It is rigged, bro. It is rigged.’ Then he known as me again and was like, ‘You are good, you are good.’

“I used to be like, ‘They made it?’ So after I watched it personally, I already knew they made it. It was undoubtedly a aid. It was a enjoyable recreation.”

Now that the Steelers — who had only a 9% probability to make the playoffs coming into the final day of the common season in keeping with ESPN’s FPI — are within the postseason, the problem forward is a tricky one. They’re going to face the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (12-5) at Arrowhead Stadium. Simply three weeks in the past, the visiting Steelers have been blown out by the Chiefs 36-10.

“They dealt with us and dealt with us definitively,” Tomlin mentioned. “And so we perceive that. However on the similar time, we’re not paralyzed by that. We settle for that we did not play nicely sufficient final time. We settle for that we did not plan nicely sufficient final time. However that is the final time.”

Tomlin additionally acknowledged it wasn’t fairly a efficiency his crew may take a lot from.

“I do not understand how a lot you study from it, to be fairly sincere with you,” he mentioned. They smashed us so definitively. Greater than something, it is like a reboot.”

In that recreation, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes accomplished 23 of 30 makes an attempt for 258 yards and three touchdowns, whereas Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger exited early and threw for 159 yards with a landing and an interception.

Since then, the Steelers have gutted out two straight wins in opposition to Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens to succeed in the playoffs.

“I am unable to say sufficient in regards to the group,” Tomlin mentioned. “Their buy-in, their struggle, their selflessness. You are not on this match until you are all of these issues after which some.

“We do not suppose we’re distinctive in comparison with the opposite 13 groups, however we’re appreciative of what it’s that we have needed to do to be part of this subject.”

The final two wins have been partially fueled by the urgency of Roethlisberger’s lasts — his final residence recreation and final regular-season recreation. And Tomlin mentioned it is “our intention” to maintain using that wave.

He additionally mentioned the expertise of these tight video games coupled with the rollercoaster of the season ought to assist his membership within the playoffs.

“We’re collectively getting comfy in lots of circumstances the place most are uncomfortable,” Tomlin mentioned. “I feel we have been hardened by this course of. It hasn’t been a simple journey for us, and I feel we’re getting comfy with being in these situations.

“… I feel we’re in a position to execute individually and collectively due to that have. Hopefully, that helps us as we proceed into the playoffs. We perceive that the playoffs are a distinct degree.”