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The Steelers never held the lead on Sunday, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw two interceptions that gave the Bengals’ offense a short field.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin summarized the game as the team playing “losing football.”
“Let’s not sugar coat it,” Tomlin said. “We played poorly today. We didn’t deserve to win and that’s not taking anything away from the Bengals. I’m talking about our group and the things that we aspire and how we expect to play. We didn’t play smart enough today. That was reflected in the penalty game. We didn’t execute enough today, making routine plays, routinely. We dropped the ball. We gave up a deep ball in situational play. There is enough to go around, and we take responsibility for that. That’s when you do when you play losing football, and that’s what we did today.
Tomlin said the Bengals were in control of the game, and the team wasn’t putting themselves in a position to win playing the way they played.
“It was 24-7 for a significant portion of the game,” he said. “When you’re in that position, you’re not going to expose yourself to negativity. It’s situational. Yes, we had people missing, but how the game was unfolding was an element of play in that as well.”
Tomlin was asked what kind of message he gives to the young players following a loss like that on Sunday, and he said the team will absorb the negativity that comes with the loss and resolve to be better.
“Like I just told them, absorb the negativity that comes with our positioning and how we perform and keep your mouth shut and resolve to do better,” Tomlin said. “And that’s not only for them, but that’s for all of us, players and coaches.”