Postgame Takes

Tomlin on fake field goal, selfless game and more

Making the call: It was a call that could have changed the outcome of the game, but thankfully didn't, and Coach Mike Tomlin didn't back down when it came to taking the blame for it.

In the second quarter, with the game tied 3-3, the Steelers lined up in field goal formation and Chris Boswell took the snap and rolled right to throw the ball. Boswell wasn't able to connect with Zach Gentry in the end zone, and took a hard hit by Jordan Elliott, knocking him out of the game and putting him in the concussion protocol.

Tomlin took full blame for it not working.

"The fake field goal was a bad call because we poorly executed it," said Tomlin. "I take responsibility for that. I appreciate the guys backing my play and fighting for 60 minutes and delivering victory and making it a side note.

"We were just playing to win. We were playing aggressively. The ball was on the left hash. We had a look that we liked. We just didn't execute it very well. The ball wasn't snapped in a timely manner, and it allowed them to take a picture of it. And when that happens, you're not going to be successful.

"But again, I take responsibility for it. I shouldn't call it unless we were ready to run it with detailed execution. It's obvious that we weren't. So that's on me."

Selfless game: The Steelers pulled out a key win in the AFC North, defeating the Cleveland Browns, 15-10, on the road in a game where they needed a full 60 minutes to pull it out.

"I am just really appreciative of the efforts of guys in that locker room there," said Tomlin. "Everybody just played a selfless game. They put the collective in front of personal agendas and we fought, and that's the only way you get out of those environments, particularly with some of the adversity that we faced today, some of which was created by us, some of which was created by me.

"Awesome win. Hopefully we grow from this. Every time you step into stadiums as you do, it's good to grow when you're doing so with a victory."

The win improved the Steelers record to 4-3, and they won while accomplishing two goals they set out to do – run the ball and stop the Browns run game. Najee Harris finished the day with 91 yards rushing, while Browns running back Nick Chubb was held to 61 yards rushing.

"I can't say enough about the efforts of the guys today," said Tomlin. "The run game component in the game was going to be big. We had to stop their run. We had to run it. And largely I think we answered the call in that regard. And I think that's more than any reason why we were victorious."

Ultimate competitor: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stepped up like he does in big games, completing 22 of 34 passes for 266 yards, including 192 in the second half, and a touchdown. 

"He is the ultimate competitor," said Tomlin. "I think we all kind of mirror him in that regard."

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