Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin blasted his team for the performance they put up against the depleted Baltimore Ravens as coach Tomlin thought his players took the Ravens for granted. The Ravens, who had at least one player positive for the coronavirus for 10 straight days, went out to the field without a number of key players -- including reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.
The Steelers, who entered the game as the big favorites, did manage to get a 19-14 win but coach Tomlin wasn't thrilled at all. "It was really junior varsity, to be quite honest with you," Tomlin said after the game, per ESPN.
"It was in all three phases. We couldn't run the ball effectively when we needed to. We dropped too many significant passes, very catchable, makeable passes. We didn't make significant plays in the special-teams game.
Our kickoff coverage unit wasn't good enough. We turned the ball over. We gave up big plays in critical moments on defense. Can't have it." The Steelers are still the only undefeated team in the NFL and there defense has been a huge factor in them not losing a single game so far.
Tomlin wasn't thrilled with his defense either
"[The Ravens] converted a long run on a possession down before the half," he said. "Unacceptable. They had a 70-yard touchdown late in the game. Unacceptable.
We're fortunate tonight. It's good to proceed with the victory. I acknowledge that. But not a lot happened tonight to be proud of or to be excited about other than that." The Steelers and Ravens were originally scheduled to meet on Thanksgiving.
The league postponed the game three times before the two teams finally met on Wednesday. "We make no excuses," he said. "We seek no comfort. We didn't play well, coach well tonight." Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went 36-of-51 for 266 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
"I need to be more accurate with my passes," Roethlisberger said. "I need to give them better chances to make the plays. There weren't some plays made today when they needed to be." Meanwhile, Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster caught 8 of 9 balls targeted his way for 37 yards and one touchdown.
"We played like the JV," Smith-Schuster said. "You know, we played down to their level. They came out with a JV squad, and we were playing JV and we didn't come out and execute and play the way we wanted to play. And as you could see, it was a close game, which shouldn't have happened."