Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin wasn't especially thrilled with the way his team performed in Week 13 and he acknowledged they simply didn't deserve to beat the Washington Football Team. The Steelers, who entered Week 13 as the only unbeaten team in the league with an 11-0 record, suffered their first loss of the season this past Monday after Washington beat them 23-17.
The Steelers failed to deliver in key moments and move the ball in short yardage and Washington made them pay for their missed opportunities. "I live by the coaching creed, 'If you can't get a yard, you don't deserve to win,'" Tomlin said, per ESPN.
"That was the case for us in this game. We had several sequences where we had an opportunity if we gained a yard, it was significant in terms of the development of the outcome of the game, but we were unsuccessful."
The Steelers started the game with a 14-0 lead but then their offense disappeared and Washington started playing great football. "If you can't get a yard in our game, you don't deserve to win," Tomlin said.
"That's the nuts and bolts elements of football, the physicality element of football. We didn't meet that challenge, so we have some work to do in that area."
Tomlin not finding excuses for the Steelers' loss
The Steelers were missing starting center Maurice Puncey and starting running back James Conner against Washington.
The Steelers' running game was non-existant against Washington as they had a total of 21 rushing yards on the night, averaging 1.5 yard per a carry. Despite the injury setbacks, coach Tomlin didn't want to find excuses as he expected that the guys who were available would step up and lead the team to a win.
"If you're a legit unit, if you're a unit that has the goods, you can absorb irregularities in schedules, players -- significant players -- missing and so forth and still rise up in those moments," Tomlin said.
"That's our charge as we prepare for this next game. ... We've lost fluidity since we missed some of those guys. "To be quite honest with you, that pisses me off because we have to be the type of group that endures regardless of who is available.
That's how we construct this group, not only in terms of our acquisition of players but just development of mentality and personality." The Steelers play next the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football.