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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mike Tomlin was worried about Steelers’ season ending in Denver on 80-yard OT TD

This isn’t some story about Mike Tomlin clairvoyantly knowing the Steelers would lose to the Broncos on an 80-yard touchdown in overtime. Nope, it’s a story about how Tomlin’s worst fears came true.

CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz called the Steelers-Broncos playoff game, and he told The Denver Post Tomlin was afraid of losing on a game-ending touchdown in overtime.

Nantz apparently grilled both John Fox and Mike Tomlin during production meetings about their plans for overtime given the new rules. Would the coaches defer knowing that one stop and a score would end the game, or would they want the ball first? Nantz was trying to sell Tomlin on deferring, but the Steelers coach wasn’t hearing it.

“He said, ‘No way I am doing that. I’m not putting my whole season at risk giving the other team the football because if one guy busts an assignment or something else and one play they go 80 yards and a touchdown and my season is over. I’m not going to let that happen. I’m taking the football,’ according to Nantz.

“I said, ‘Come on. You gotta be kidding. The longest pass play of the season for the Broncos and Tebow was 56 yards against Kansas City.’ He said, ‘I’m not going to put my season on the line for a one-play, 80-yard touchdown pass.’”

Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened and the Steelers were sent packing on an 80-yard touchdown pass from Tim Tebow to Demaryius Thomas. If Tomlin was so fearful of a game-ending touchdown, you have to wonder why the players weren’t as well.

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