We all remember the words of then Jets head coach, Herm Edwards. You play to win the game! Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin did this very thing on Sunday by calling for an onsides kick, while ahead and with 3:58 left in the game. Unorthodox and unthinkable for sure.
The main goal of the call to onsides kick first and foremost was to recover the kick and put the ball back in the hands of Ben Roethlisberger who had been effective all day at driving on the Packers defense. If Roethlisberger would of not been able to drive the field and get points, Tomlin was betting the offense could at least pick up a few first downs and at worse punt the ball back to the Packers who that point would have likely burned their last timeout and be well under 2 minutes left in the game.
The second thing in the back of Tomlin\’s head was that if they did not recover the onsides kick for some reason, he thought that if indeed the Packers did score on the short field that Roethlisberger would hopefully have enough time left on the clock to drive one final time. Either for a field goal or a touchdown. He at least wanted the offense to have a chance.
The last option Tomlin had was to kickoff and first risk another special teams coverage breakdown or even worse a long time consuming drive by the Packers for a winning score, leaving the Steelers very little or no time left on the clock. The defense had already melted down the entire 4th quarter and there was no sign that they would of been able to stop the Packers even if they had to drive two football fields.
Tomlin was in a no win situation with the decision to onsides kick. He knew he would be questioned whatever the outcome of it, but it was “his” decision and we all know that he doesn\’t care what you or anyone else thinks about his decisions. Tomlin plays to win the game and I for one applaud him for that. You should too.