Tomlin Knows Steelers Won’t Win In Shootout With Patriots


Generally, the goal is for this Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense to put up 30 points per game.

This week, without Ben Roethlisberger, that goal is a little more modest. And Mike Tomlin even acknowledged they’ll have to hold New England’s offense in check this weekend if they want a chance to win.

“They’re a formidable bunch,” Tomlin said. “They’ve been over 30 points the last two weeks. We acknowledge that. We gotta work to keep the score down because that aides us in terms of the game unfolding in the manner we need it to unfold. A shootout is not the type of game we’re looking for under present circumstances for us.”

Those last two games, of course, have come with Tom Brady leading the charge. That’d led to a 33-13 win over Cleveland and a 35-17 win over Cincinnati this past Sunday. Brady has completed over 75% of his passes, thrown six touchdowns, and no interceptions.

With him last season, New England breached the 30 point mark seven times, including three times on the road. Only once last year were they held under 17 points, Keith Butler’s magic number, the final regular season game against Miami in a 20-10 defeat.

To combat that, Tomlin stressed playing technically sound defense and ball control.

“We gotta have an outstanding effort not only on defense but we have to work to possess the ball on offense. Those two things are going to work together as they worked together in a negative fashion a week ago.”

The Steelers’ defense was on the field for over 36 minutes, one of the highest figures in the last five years, as Miami rolled up 224 yards rushing in a convincing victory. Turnovers didn’t help the cause either, two interceptions from Ben Roethlisberger, and an inability to convert on third down.

If Pittsburgh wants any chance of winning this game, or even just staying competitive, they must be near-flawless in all these areas. All easier said than done, especially with Jones at the helm, but as Tomlin says, such is life.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • KyninSteel26


  • Kevin artis

    If we win the toss please take the ball.

  • george

    The way to beat Brady is to jam his receivers at the line while sending pressure up the middle
    Unfortunately I don’t think we have the personnel to get that done. If they play that soft zone defense Brady may put up 50 points.

  • Randy

    If we win the ball game it will be because of rigging

  • Jones

    Very glad they don’t consult SD Comments section before making decisions… Our backup situation is awful, but handing the keys to the guy that’s never driven outside of his driveway isn’t the answer here…

  • Daniel

    Lol I know..mettenberger hasn’t done squat

  • Jones

    Better off not putting our D out there at all. Let them sprint into the end zone each possession, and we’ll rule TOP. It’s our best hope, lol


    Its unfortunate that Ben got hurt – I was really looking forward to this game!
    But it is what it is and now we have to face them with (sigh) Landry Jones!!
    It’s LBell time!!!!

  • steelersfan

    This will be the biggest upset in Steelers reg season history if we get this done.

  • e. smith

    Switch head coaches and philosophies for this week. Steelers would then win. Belicheat maximizes his talent.

  • greeny

    Exactly correct but we will come out 10 yards off the line of scrimmage because that is our way. I’d rather get burned giving up the big play then give up 10 plays at small chunks against the pats. Take a chance and be ultra aggressive.

  • madman

    I predict 7 punts and 3 int, all by the Steelers offense. Brady put up 55

  • cencalsteeler

    Wow! I got to say I’m taken back by Tomlins comments. He’s pretty much throwing in the towel to keeping up with Pats O. Terrible message to the team and pretty much a cementing to how this team folds to teams they should win. Spy Gronk and contain him. Wrap up and tackle Blount. Short quick throws to your Aces (Eli, AB and Coates, James, etc) and let them rack up yards. Plus, you have DW and Bell. You just need Jones to manage the game and let him feed our weapons. Our cast is soooo much more talented than theirs. It’s Tomlins job to create those mismatches. It’s like he’s folded up his chess board with that comment, smh. Unless I misunderstood his coments, it’s very disheartening coming from the General of our team.

  • Jones

    You’re delusional. Give ANY HC a team with all of our injuries & Jones starting over Ben, & they’d tell you making statements like, “then we would win” is laughable at best. It’s like you think hitting the panic button & blowing up the whole organization is a reasonable fix. Who are you, the Browns?

  • Jones

    To be fair, on Tuesdays, Tomlin makes it sound like containing ANY team is a Herculean task we’ll be lucky to survive attempting, let alone accomplish.

  • Craig M

    I’d rather they knock their receivers on their butts at the LOS.

  • JohnB

    Yeah man he should totally go out there and say something like “we’re going to unleash hell in December” or something to that effect when we got a QB with 3 starts vs The Best QB of Football. Now I’m not saying it cant be done, but he’s not going to go out there and blow hot air and call his shot so everyone can come to the board saying how crazy Tomlin is. Tomlin is realistic and blunt. Sometimes its that which gets the point across to your team.

  • cencalsteeler

    And what point is that? Let’s throw in the towel because were going to lose?

  • JohnB

    exactly he treats the Browns the same way.

  • cencalsteeler

    Very true.
    “A shootout is not the type of game were looking for under present circumstances.” doesn’t sit well with me. In other words, without Ben, were screwed. What message does that send to the rest of the O? Is he going against his own philosophy of “next man up”?

  • JohnB

    He’s not throwing in the towel at all! he’s not saying “oh geeze, lets just go to the bye.” he’s saying that the way to beat them is not a shootout. And IMO, the way to beat them is with sound defense. So how is he wrong? how is he quitting? You’ve been on this site long enough to know how Tomlin talks.

  • cencalsteeler

    Point taken. Like I said, maybe I could have easily misunderstood his quote.

  • DirtDawg1964

    Bingo. Here is how real life works, and not fantasy football. Ben takes almost all reps,with first team offence. Landry takes almost all reps with scout team. He’s not even running Seeler plays! He’s trying to mimic the opposition. And Zack? He watches. He might get 5 to 15 throws a practice and never with the first team. And I stress might.

    He has no timing or familiarity with the first team and no real sense for the playbook – but yeah, lets throw him in against the Pats.

  • Craig M

    So not maximizing our talent- like not using our strong run game against Miami’s weak point, their run DEF, is acceptable? I think maximizing ball control will keep Brady off the field as much as possible and is just good common sense, in looking for a win. But will Haley do it? (1st down- dive play in the middle, 2yrd. gain, 2nd down run outside guard, 2yrd. gain, 3 and 6 bubble, screen or maybe a bomb down the sideline).

  • Jones

    No disrespect, but maybe you’re reading into it just a bit too much. I took it as him subtly calling out his D to play better and not let it be a race to 35 pts. Could be wrong though.

  • Jones

    “So not maximizing our talent…, is acceptable”

    If that’s actually what you read in your head in my comment above, I don’t think there’s any more discussion to be had here as you’ll simply interpret my next comment as, “The Steelers should fire all their starters and permanently blind all the backups before fielding them”.

    …sure. That’s what I said…

  • Jon Hartman

    pittsburgh bandwagon fans are so damn pathetic. we’ll win the game on sunday. it’s any given sunday.
    3 keys for the game
    1) feed the ball to bell and dw all day. kill the clock.
    2) stop gronk
    3) stop the run on the right side. heyward is out for this week. mathews and hargrave needs to step up big time.
    bonus) break tom brady’s leg. 😡

  • e. smith

    I heard a stat where Tomlin is 2-13 ATS on the road as a 7 point favorite or greater since the last SB. That tells me lack of preparation or seriousness.

  • Alex Kozora

    I was a bit surprised by the comments, too. Why I wanted to write about them first. Tomlin more candid today than usual.

  • FATCAT716

    I think that’s as honest as it gets. No way do we want come out slinging the rock trying to go 40 for 40 with them. The message is our defense has to step it up. Our offense needs to protect the ball & control the clock.

  • FATCAT716

    When your competitive spirit hits you want to control it but to win this game things have to go right & our coaches have to coach a great game & our player have to play a sound game. He’s not throwing the towel in but we are 7.5 point under dogs without our franchise Quarterback who was playing at an MVP level. We are down countless man power but we ain’t packing it in at all

  • Ralph Wagner

    Tomlin knows the Steelers will not win, period. End of story. LOL

  • Steve Johnson

    If Green isn’t ready to play, then why keep him on the roster? When will they learn, signing an injured player was a huge mistake.

  • Steve Johnson

    Can’t argue with you there. I’m not watching the game, I hate to see this team get beat down and embarrassed.

  • Thomas

    No kidding, since LJ can’t throw a pass without it being an INT. This wouldn’t be happening if they found an actual backup to Ben.

  • Reggie Cunningham

    I just said that on another thread.About jamming the wr. Its not like he has T.O or Aquan Bolden type of wr. They’re small wr and really no deep threat. Play those two tight end well u will get a victory. This team really not that hard to beat . Its just nobody plays them physically.

  • Rotten Sircus

    The Patriots are going to run those same old crossing patterns & slants and if anybody breathes on Brady the flag will be thrown ! Patriots are beatable and WE’RE AT HOME …!!!