PITTSBURGH — Much of the nation was glued into its television screens as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ playoff hopes hung in the balance of Sunday night’s final NFL regular season game of the season between the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers, but Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was not one of them.
The Steelers needed either team to secure a victory in order to clinch a postseason berth, along with the winning team. However, if the two teams tied, they would both go to the playoffs, with the Steelers left at home.
Tomlin said that when the Raiders went up by 12 and then 15 points late in the game, he made a decision to call it a night, expecting an early workday for his playoff-bound Steelers on Monday morning.
Instead, the Chargers scored two touchdowns and a two-point conversion in the game’s final minutes to send things to overtime, where it took three field goals, including one as time expired by Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson to finally decide a winner.
“I’m probably better off not having watched it,” Tomlin joked.
Tomlin‘s experience comes in contrast with that of his players. Wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud said he watched the game with some teammates, and the mood got intense as things tech in the final seconds of overtime.
Ben Roethlisberger was shown celebrating the Raiders’ win in a video posted to Twitter.
When you decide to watch the end of the Sunday night game on Facetime with Bart & your homie…..a game that determines whether or not he gets in the playoffs and you don’t realize you’re 15 seconds ahead of him on the outcome. 😂😂😂@_BigBen7 @BartMillard pic.twitter.com/TOsiOFazaA
— TobyMac (@tobymac) January 11, 2022
But Monday was a full day of off the field work for the Steelers, with the team eschewing its usual day off after a victory in order to focus on the playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
As far as the situation presented to Chargers coach Brandon Staley and Raiders coach Rich Bisaccia, wear a tie benefited both teams but a win would only benefit one, Tomlin said he hasn’t considered what he’d do in that scenario.