Postgame Takes

Tomlin on never blinking, the 'hit' and more

Never blinking: The Steelers knew it wasn't going to be easy, a matchup of two undefeated teams, and they were right.

After the Steelers jumped out to a 27-7 lead, the Tennessee Titans fought back, to make it 27-24 in the closing seconds when Stephen Gostkowski missed a 45-yard field goal wide right with just 14 seconds to play to secure the win.

"We talked about it all week," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "We knew they wouldn't flinch. They have been in these types of games more than we have. To be quite honest with you, we knew that that was a winning edge for them, and it showed. We had something to do with how the game got as well. We gave up a big play for a touchdown. We turned the ball over. You do those things against good people they're going to get back in the game 100% of the time.

"Thankfully our guys didn't blink and were able to hold it together and make enough plays to secure a victory. Not a perfect product. We understand that. But I appreciate their efforts. We are perfect from a record standpoint and so we respect that."

Despite enjoying the win for a short time, though, Tomlin knows what sits ahead – the Baltimore Ravens who had a bye this weekend.

"We realize that we've got AFC North ball on next week on the road," said Tomlin. "We're going to a group that has seven days advantage on us, so there's a lot for us to be urgent about. We won't spend a lot of time celebrating this or appreciating this because it's just more work that lies ahead, but we like that element of the journey and we're excited about assessing what's transpired, hopefully making necessary improvements and positioning ourselves for next week's challenge."

That hit: It was a hit that was heard around the NFL and set social media on fire.

Robert Spillane, who stepped in for Devin Bush who went on the reserve/injured list with a season ending knee injury, met Derrick Henry right up the middle on third and one from the one yard line and stopped him, with some help from T.J. Watt, for no gain.

It was one of three tackles Spillane made on the day, playing solid along with Ulysees Gilbert, who was worked in to give Spillane a breather. 

"I know he played winning ball," said Tomlin of Spillane. "I hadn't looked at it with a fine-tooth comb, but like we said prior to this performance, we weren't concerned about the quality of his play. I definitely was not. I was concerned about fatigue as snaps set in.

"We supplemented him on possession downs with Ulysees Gilbert who also did a really solid job. Together they were able to stand in for Devin. Not that we didn't have complete confidence in Robert, but we didn't want him playing 65 or so snaps. We thought we would have a better chance it he played around 45."

Getting it done: Speaking of Henry, the Steelers held him to eight carries for 27 yards in the first, even though he picked it up in the second half, finishing with 20 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown.

"We talked about the importance of minimizing him," said Tomlin. "And from that standpoint, it was similar, but we didn't do anything that we don't normally do. We played the defenses that we normally play. We just got to defeat blocks and make tackles and try to prevent him from falling forward. A tall task with a guy like him and particularly as we talked about from an attrition standpoint over the course of the game and you felt that. You felt him getting going, and that was troublesome. But that's just the attributes that he brings. and they bring to play, so that's why it was important that we got started early."

Game action photos from the Steelers' Week 7 game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium

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