The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 16-13 late Sunday afternoon after which watched their season probably come to an finish some 250 miles away in Baltimore when the Ravens defeated the Cleveland Browns.
Had the Browns rallied to win, it might be Pittsburgh within the playoffs and never the Ravens. Well, there’s little pleasure in Pittsburgh Sunday night time, regardless of a distant probability of constructing the postseason. If the Titans and Colts play to a tie Sunday night time, then the Steelers would sneak in.
No one within the Steel City is holding their breath.
“I appreciate the effort,” head coach Mike Tomlin stated. “We controlled the things that were in our control today. I can’t say enough about the efforts of the guys, particularly guys like Matt [McCrane] coming in on a moving train and kicking the way he did today. We accept the outcome. We had 17 weeks to state a case for ourselves, we stand by our work.”
McCrane, who was signed Friday after Chris Boswell was positioned on injured reserve, hit three subject targets, together with the game-winner from 35 yards out.
“A couple days ago I was at home playing golf and preparing to get a call,” McCrane stated. “It’s been a month since I kicked in an NFL game. To get out and make the first field goal was big. And to go 3-for-3 as well.”
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stood by his teammates as nicely. Roethlisbeger went 31-of-45 for 287 yards and one landing Sunday. He didn’t have his favourite goal — Antonio Brown, who missed the sport with a knee harm.
For the season, he completed with 5,129 passing yards, turning into the seventh quarterback to surpass the 5,000-yard mark.
“I am trying not to reflect right now, but it’s hard not to,” he stated. “I just got done seeing my linemen and so I think pride in my guys, pride in guys that stepped up today that had to move around to different positions.”
While the Steelers’ offense had hassle getting untracked, Pittsburgh’s protection was stellar, holding the Bengals to 95 passing yards and harassing Jeff Driskel all day. Cincinnati’s quarterback was sacked 4 instances.
The Bengals’ working assault was in a position to acquire solely 125 yards, with 51 approaching one Joe Mixon run.
“It’s hard to loosen things up if we don’t complete some balls down the field,” Mixon lamented. “No question about it. … We just were unable to loosen things up with Jeff Driskel down the field and get the ball down the field enough.”
The Bengals had been taking part in with the burden of head coach Marvin Lewis’ future hanging over the group. For weeks, rumors have swirled Lewis can be fired at season’s finish, his 16th on the helm in Cincinnati.
“This isn’t about me; this is about this football team and what they do,” Lewis stated. “To make this about one person, it’s not about one person. This is my job. That’s it.”
Come Monday, Lewis actually will discover out his fate.
Whoever the coach is, Mixon stated the Bengals might be within the playoffs subsequent season.
“Next year we’re not going to fall short, that’s for sure,” stated Mixon after his 105 yards on 13 carries gave him 1,168 yards — essentially the most for the group since Cedric Benson in 2009. “If we do not have accidents, it is a totally different story. You cannot use it as an excuse. But I stand by it and I am going to maintain standing by it.
“We’ll go whoever the coach is. Whoever it is. Whether it’s Marvin or we get somebody new. I know the people we have. The people we’ve got.”
The Bengals’ landing got here when security Shawn Williams intercepted Roethlisberger and took it to the home from 58 yards out.
But it was the Steelers who wore down the injury-riddle Bengals on Sunday. Cincinnati saved Roethlisberger out of the top zone till he connected with JuJu Smith-Schuster on an 11-yard display move late within the third quarter to tie the sport at 10-10.
McCrane gave the Steelers a 13-10 lead early within the fourth quarter as Roethlisberger and the offense held the ball for 13 performs and greater than seven minutes.
Randy Bullock related from 32 yards to make it 16-16 with 6:17 remaining.
That gave Roethlisberger loads of time to engineer a game-winning drive and made a hero out of McCrane.
“It was an unreal feeling,” McCrane stated. “Pittsburgh would be an outstanding place to stay. I am not really sure what is going to happen.”