PITTSBURGH — Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has a spotty challenge record at best throughout his tenure as an NFL head coach. But after Saturday’s game, he is now a sterling four of seven on the year in 2023. But two of those came against the Bengals in that win.
Did anyone have Mike Tomlin winning two challenges on their bingo card? If you did, you just saw a once-in-a-decade occurrence. Tomlin has not won two challenges in a game since 2013 against the Bengals, according to Alez Kozora. That’s the type of thing that Christmas miracles are made out of here. Whenever everything seemed to go right for this team, they did, and to Tomlin’s credit, he took a huge catch by Andrei Iosivias off the board with his first challenge.
It’s a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but it is noteworthy and something the team has to embrace moving forward. It felt like Tomlin’s game management was superior to Zac Taylor’s on Saturday. Tomlin had plenty of aggressiveness at the end of the first half. They played complementary football, and that made Tomlin’s job so much easier, but he did a much better job than last week.
“We talked about scared money don’t make money,” Tomlin said. “That’s the mentality we went into this week.”
That aggressiveness proved to be his guiding light on Saturday evening. It’s something that he needs to embrace more throughout the season. His players can make plays, and Tomlin’s confidence in them gives them confidence. It all worked out wonderfully to give the Steelers their best performance in years on a football field. Tomlin has flaws, and the road is still rocky for this team, but he deserves credit for getting an undermanned squad ready to go. Now, he has to continue that push forward in their final two games.