Tomlin Essentially Says He Went For It On 4th Down Because He Didn’t Trust His Defense

With 2:33 left in the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-28 loss to Miami Dolphins on Sunday, head coach Mike Tomlin made the decision to go for it on fourth and 10 from the team’s own 10 yard-line down three points. During his post game press conference, Tomlin was asked about that decision.

“Obviously, if we were successful then we could continue on,” started explaining Tomlin. “We hadn’t done a great job of stopping them in the second half, so we weren’t ensured of getting the ball back. If you punt there, they have an opportunity to convert third downs and kill the clock and the game.

“I thought if we went for it we had an opportunity to continue on. If we didn’t, then whatever was going to happen was going to happen quickly, and we had an opportunity to have the ball at the end, which is what we did.”

Tomlin’s remarks were aimed right at his defense and really you can’t blame him for saying what he did. The Steelers defense allowed three touchdown drives of 71 yards or more in the second half as well as a 43% third down conversion rate for the entire game.

To make matters worse, the defense also gave up three more plays of 40 yards or more and that is a problem that has plagued them all season long.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Jacob Dixon

    It makes sense

  • Berlusconi

    Yes, I think it was a good decision.

  • WilliamSekinger

    For everyone crapping on Tomlin, he made the right decision in this case. Defense was horrid in this game.

  • Elijah Stevenson

    Can’t trust the offense either

  • Betz Smiff

    I think it was the wrong decision……. 2 TO’s and the 2 min warning. Miami is going to run the ball on 3 plays most likely which I like the chances of stopping that more than I like a 4th and 10 play…. probably get the ball back with about a minute and a half down 3 … dumb move in my opinion but unfortunately those types of decisions have become commonplace with our HBC

  • SG

    I’d have felt better about it if it was 4th and short and wasn’t on their own 10. Yeah, the defense sucked, but the offense had just failed to deliver the kill shot on the previous drive and had just come up empty on three straight plays. Basically, the whole team stinks.

  • Betz Smiff

    Why wasn’t Tomlin standing on the white line to make AB take a step inside??? Funny didn’t see MT watching the jumbotron on that play…..hmmmmm

  • Rick M

    No it respectfully doesn’t. They got the ball back down 6 points with no timeouts, little time and needing a touchdown. They would have been down only 3 points had they punted and stopped a likely conservative Dolphins’ team. Getting the ball back with probably 1:45 on the clock and only needing a field goal is very manageable.

  • Chris92021

    The defense sucked today but I still don’t get the timeout being used. That was on Coach Tomlin.

  • Chris92021

    The Steelers couldn’t stop the run in the second half and missed too many tackles. While I agree with going for it, I don’t agree with the timeout being called. That was just stupid.

  • CrazyTerry

    The dolphins don’t play that conservative if they needed to get a first down. I agree with the fourth down try. Our D was awful.

  • CrazyTerry

    Troy cost us this game, among others. Troy dropped a sure pick 6 which he made up for later with another pick 6 . But then, he gave up the game winning TD.

  • P – squared

    Agreed with Terry …

  • Queeg

    We need another good draft year…..running a bunch of no name young deer like Seattle just might pay off.

  • Betz Smiff

    Agree, the Dolphins would have probably ran the ball 3 times to make the Steelers use the TO’s. Whether they stopped them or not is anyone’s guess but still think it was a better chance than a 4th and 10 play…

  • Betz Smiff

    Let’s see if Seattle can get to 3 SB’s before those ‘no name young deer’ start to get paid and wreck the cap

  • RMSteeler

    Time to kick some tires on some released coaches for OC. Like Kubiak, for one. Lebeau didn’t hack it as a HC, although who could with the Browns? Both phases, Offense and Defense got way too predictable this year. Tough year for both with injuries on Offense and age on Defense, but this is the NFL. All those years of not integrating rookies on both sides left us with losing some pretty good players because they got a chance to play their contract years. And the cap situation the Steelers got themselves in is an 800 lb gorilla in the org no one in the FO seems to see.

  • Richard Edlin

    They might be better managed and not get themselves into that situation …

  • Don

    In order to force a punt, you have to tackle. I saw nothing today to reassure me that would happen.

  • Don

    Tomlin needs to learn how to wrap up and make a form tackle.

  • RW

    I can see where Tomlin is coming from – he’d like to have 2 TO and the 2 minute warning to drive down the field. But in this case, beggars can’t be choosers – the statistical probability of any team scoring a touchdown when starting from within their own 10 yard line is incredibly low, and since we don’t have Peyton Manning or Drew Brees at QB, I’ve got to think that having your defense try to hold them gives you better odds (i.e. a new set of downs and ~ 1 min and 50 s to get the ball into FG range, assuming you stop them). I don’t like to second guess in situations like this but my first instinct would have been to punt.

  • Betz Smiff

    Flacco got 120 mil……..what do you think Wilson will get in 2 yrs when his contract is up, not to mention all those studs on defense….. it’s inevitable

  • Elijah Stevenson

    Man I bet my friend our D would produce 5+ turnovers because Miami would play in the snow, I lost that bet quick because they only produced one.

  • mem359

    Being fined $100K is enough incentive to change his habits.

  • Mike Carroll

    Like too many games this year.

  • Reader783

    Troy did not lose us the game…come on. No one player lost us this game.

  • Reader783

    It woulda been nice if it weren’t 4th and 10 in the first place. Maybe gain some yards on those first 3 downs.

  • Superdriller316

    It’s a damn if you do damn if you don’t. There will be people out there saying punt the ball. And when the D couldn’t get 3 and out, then they are saying why didn’t you go for it on 4th down. Then there are people who say go for it on 4th down, and when it’s over on downs they say you should have punted. WTF!!!

    We are just fans who want to see our team win. We don’t make the decisions on the field or in the FO. So let’s let the people who are paid to make those decisions do their job. If firings need done I’m sure they will be done at the end of the year. I’m not defending anyone or their actions. I’m sure the Rooney’s will make the right choices. Remember it’s their team not ours. We just pay for it.

  • lone pistol

    yep I cant argue either if our defense was still stout id say it was stupid but come on. They have let us down so many times this year and were garbage again in this game. they are the main reason we wont see the pla offs

  • Bob Loblaw

    Hell, for all the hate Haley has got this year, the offense is the better looking unit.

  • Superdriller316

    Tomlin said the same thing in SB XLIII after the Cards scored before our game winning drive. If they are going to score, that’s how you want them to do it, quickly.

  • NW86

    What exactly do you mean by “better managed”? They won’t pay the studs and let them go? There’s really no other option, you either pay them or lose them.

  • Richard Edlin

    Yes. If you want to stay relevant, you need to have the occasional year in which you rebuild because it is not sustainable to keep everybody in a competition with a salary cap.

    If you try to avoid this, you end up with massive debts – in this case, an unmanageable cap. If Seattle is wise, they’ll choose who to keep.

  • CrazyTerry

    That was on Haley. He did not have the play ready.

  • CrazyTerry

    If Ben doesn’t get sacked, 1 min Is really not that improbable to score. Look at how many times NE, MN, Ravens scored in the final minutes today.

  • Elijah Stevenson

    Yeah troy had an up and down game but it was a team as one losing the game. I did think cortez and polamalu was lazy on that tackle though.

  • Steelerbob

    except they also wasted the time out they couldve used if they didnt make the 4th down as well.

  • Tony P

    When are we going to fire this clown of a coach. He has lived of the cowher picks his whole time here. They are gone and we stink…..

  • Richard Edlin

    Yes; if they’re wise, they’ll also shed a few players at that time to keep the situation under control.

  • CrazyTerry

    I am no longer a Tomlin supporter. Cut out the Cowher picks thing. Ben was a Rooney pick and was picked inspite of Cowher. No Ben . No SBs for either coach.

  • Sunny Day

    Ofcourse Big Ben’s numer are pretty good this year but we all know we rarely win when he throws for more than 300 Yards which he has numerous times this year..Many of r losses last year we were leading in the 4th Quarter also..What has changed the most Is R Defence is barely Average anymore..no pressure on the QB and secondary then leads team in tackle’s very few Turnovers like last Year..we have had a great run D for Years not this Year..But just like last Years games we have lost many we lead in the fourth that in Years past we won by running the ball getting first downs and running the clock down..All that said which all of u know as Steelers fans is How many times has Big Ben lead a game winning drive in the 4th Quarter last Year and this ? Not to many if any ..About all of the games he has the chance and the time to do it..he either gets sacked and fumbles it,Throws an INT or just doesnt get it done on downs..ive pretty much forgot what it is like Steelers to do ior Ben like in SB against the Cardinals..Maybe here n there but ii