Mike Tomlin started his weekly news conference Tuesday, as always, with a brief synopsis from the previous week’s game — the come-from-behind, Christmas Eve win over the Raiders.
“It seemed like a long time ago,” Tomlin said.
No, not really. It was just about 60 hours removed from the 13-10 win over Las Vegas at Acrisure Stadium, which kept the Steelers’ faint playoff hopes alive. Tomlin saw his young offense — with a rookie quarterback, rookie receiver and second-year players at running back and tight end — drive 76 yards in 10 plays before Kenny Pickett hit George Pickens for the game-winning, 14-yard touchdown.
Tomlin praised the offense and the final drive moments after it ended, calling it a “grow-up evening” and saying the youngsters “showed resolve and poise.” Two-and-a-half days later, he picked up where he left off, unprompted.
“When you are in those weighty moments, and you are looking around at people to feel their presence, and in a lot of instances, I did,” Tomlin said. “I didn’t see big eyes, I saw sure eyes. I saw guys that understood and guys that were prepared to do it. I liked the feel of the group leading up to it.”
You really can’t question Tomlin on that. He’s right. It was a monumental moment for this young offense, even though it allowed everybody to forget that it was the same offense that put up 64 yards on 22 plays over the previous four possessions and only six points for more than 59 minutes of the game.