Sunday night’s thriller between the Chargers and the Raiders had consequences for the playoffs for both teams, but the match was also closely watched by many Steelers fans. After Pittsburgh defeated Baltimore and closed the 9-7-1 base, the Steelers needed the AFC West battle to have winners and losers. Until it ended in a draw, they would secure promotion to the playoffs.
So the game was obviously a draw at 32 late in overtime, which drastically increased the blood pressure of many Pittsburgers. With the Raiders on the pitch and less than a minute left in the third period, Los Angeles coach Brandon Staley called for a break to adjust his defense. Las Vegas running back Josh Jacobs scored 10 yards in the next game, preparing Daniel Carlson for the winning 47-yard field goal. Final results: Raiders in, Steelers in, Chargers out.
MORE: Did Chargers QB Justin Herbert want a draw?
Quite a dramatic ending, huh? The Steelers were certainly excited about it, but Mike Tomlin missed it.
During his press conference on Tuesday, the Super Bowl winner’s coach was asked how he reacted at the end of the Chargers-Raiders competition. It turned out that Tomlin was counting sheep instead of watching NBC broadcasts.
“I dozed off,” Tomlin said. “I knew I had a workday ahead of me, or I assumed I had a workday ahead of me. I think at one point (Las Vegas) has increased by 15 and this number has made it a little easier for you. It’s probably better not to look at it. So It’s probably not as exciting a description as you’d hope. “
NFL TIPS AGAINST ENLARGEMENT: Chiefs Crush Steelers, Cowboys Survive 49 Years
Tomlin might have been trying to close his eyes on Sunday as much as he could, because he knew he would have a huge challenge ahead of him. The Steelers will face Team Chiefs in Week 16, which caused them a brutal 36:10 loss in Week 16. Kansas City has won nine of the last 10 games to finish second in the AFC, and wants to make it to the Super Bowl for the third season in a row.
“We have big challenges when it comes to preparing for Kansas City,” Tomlin said. “We’ve been to Kansas City very recently. They’ve caught up with us and taken care of us for good. So we understand that, but we’re not paralyzed. We accept that we didn’t play well enough last time.” We accept that we did not plan well enough last time, but this is the last time.
“We prefer to prepare physically. We prefer to prepare mentally, emotionally, because it will take us all. In all three phases, it’s a very talented team.”
The Chiefs will be strongly preferred to win and advance to the division round, but Tomlin and Steelers hope they can shock the world as an NFL playoff … dormant.