It was a typical Steelers-Ravens game, with strong defensive play on both sides and coming down to the last second before a winner was determined.
For the Steelers, it was another week of coming out on top with a 28-24 victory to improve their record to 7-0 on the season, matching the best start in franchise history when the Steelers went 7-0 in 1978.
But for Coach Mike Tomlin, there is always something to learn and grow from.
“There were some things we had to adjust to. I thought we were able to get some things settled down at the half, get back into things,” said Tomlin. “Injuries are a part of it. It’s significant. I thought losing Tyson Alualu in game and Mike Hilton prior to the game, those are two critical rundown defenders that made it tough for us to function at times because they are exceptional at running the football. We acknowledge that. We knew we could bleed a little bit. But the story is beyond that. We lacked detail in some areas, so we’ve got to work to get better and fortify ourselves for the next opponent. It’s good to do that with a win.
Entertaining, yes it was. The Steelers went into halftime down 17-7 and came back strong in the second half, making all of the right adjustments.
“They threw some things at us. They are a group that was coming off the bye,” said Tomlin. “I knew it could be tough sledding early on and it was. We had to adjust. I thought we needed that 12 or so minutes at halftime to gather ourselves, recalibrate and eliminate some things on our menu and highlight some other things on that menu that were going to be critical to the challenges that they were presenting.
“We went into the game minus some significant run defenders like Mike Hilton, the loss of Tyson Alualu really stressed us in terms of matching power in that area. They’re a strong, strong run team coupled with the fact that their quarterback is a legitimate runner. We had to do what we had to do to settle it down.
“We didn’t blink. I can’t say enough about how proud I am of the guys in terms of their mental toughs. The way they supported one another, the way they didn’t fall apart in the midst of some the things that were going on. I think that is as critical as anything.”
With a 7-0 record, the Steelers continue to be in the spotlight, in games Tomlin has often referred to as the ‘game of the week.’ And it isn’t about to stop, and he appreciates that.
“You better believe it. It’s an honor. It’s a humbling experience,” said Tomlin. “This is what we signed up for, this is why we do what we do at this level. Whether you are a coach, a player, a trainer or anybody, you want to be in these stadiums, you want to have (Jim) Nantz and (Tony) Romo calling your game. You know you are in the right building. We’ve got respect for that. We appreciate it. We’re honored to be a part of it.”
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