ASHBURN, Va. - Here's what the Pittsburgh Steelers are saying about the Washington Football Team in the aftermath of Monday's 23-17 loss to drop to 11-1.
Head coach Mike Tomlin is a no-nonsense, low-drama field boss who players always seem to play hard for and in some ways reminds you of Ron Rivera's personality in certain ways.
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That being said ... Tomlin still has a funny personality at times and showed it to Chase Young via NFL Films Monday night.
It's highly unlikely that Pittsburgh and Tomlin will ever be in the position Washington put themselves in because they are a highly stable franchise.
After the win by Washington, Tomlin tipped his cap to Ron Rivera and the WFT as a whole by saying "they made the significant plays tonight and we didn't, particularly in the second half.
You hear a lot of coach-speak in these press conferences but I don't remember a head coach using the terms "weighted downs" and "possession-down football," which Tomlin was referring to the fourth-down failures by his team.
Third downs weren't particularly fun for Pittsburgh, either. The Steelers were 6-15 which of course led partially to the fourth-down failures.
"You've got to give credit to those guys," Tomlin said.
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Ben Roethlisberger, a future Hall-of-Famer, wasn't even particularly great in the first half and was bad in the second, because Washington completely made the Steelers one-dimensional. They ran the ball four times with a 14-3 lead against a talented front.
"They didn't bring many blitzes," Roethlisberger said after his team's defeat. "They've got a lot of pedigree in that front four or five that they rotate in. A lot of first-rounders. They use those picks. Those guys are studs for a reason."
T.J. Watt sacked Alex Smith once and had six tackles but was largely a non-factor in the second half. "Hats off to those guys," Watt, brother of J.J., said about the WFT.
"They did a good job with second half adjustments ...That's a good football team."
Mike Hilton, a cornerback that had to play more especially with the in-game loss of Joe Haden, said "we gave up a lot of third downs and put ourselves in some tough situations that we were not able to get out of."
Washington was 0-8 in the first half on the money down and 4-9 in the second half.
Pittsburgh should have had Washington dead-to-rights on the first drive of the third quarter and collapsed in that exact spot that Hilton was talking about. But in the end? It's the WFT that gets to talk like winners.