The Pittsburgh Steelers are 10-0.
They soundly defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars by the score of 27-3.
The Jaguars held a momentary lead of 3-0 before the domination began.
This is exactly the result Coach Mike Tomlin wanted and expected from his team.
And after some light teasing of some of his players, he posed for a postgame picture to show that all is most definitely well in Steel City.
Mike Tomlin made headlines saying the Steelers weren’t a Big Ten team playing a MAC opponent this week. After they whipped up the Jaguars, he took a photo with his five MAC players (Ola Adeniyi, Robert Spillane, Ben Roethlisberger, Diontae Johnson, Chuks Okorafor). Pretty good! pic.twitter.com/NrJVF6RXHn
— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) November 22, 2020
Any good coach knows how to motivate his team.
Tomlin was likely concerned that his Steelers would take the 1-9 Jaguars lightly on Sunday and start to focus their sights on the Thanksgiving game with the Ravens.
He told his team and the media:
“I’m not into the trap game discussion. We are not a Big Ten team playing a MAC opponent this week. Every time we step into a stadium, we’re playing professionals, players and coaches. We’ve got a ridiculous level of respect for that. Write your story, follow your storylines about trap games and things of that nature. We understand what we’re going into in Jacksonville, that that’s a group that’s trying to kick our butt. A professional group, capable group, and we’re preparing with that understanding.”
His choice of conference was interesting.
The Mid-American Conference (MAC) is where 5 of his players went to college, most notably QB Ben Roethlisberger who proudly hails from Miami (of Ohio).
When asked about Tomlin’s MAC reference, Ben said:
“I haven’t had a chance to get him yet. He mentioned it again in the team meeting, too. I wasn’t too happy about that. I’ll get him back, don’t worry. I have to figure out what conference William & Mary (Tomlin’s alma mater) is in, and we’ll say something about that.”
The postgame photo showed that Tomlin appreciates the efforts of his MAC players.
Tomlin was right to be concerned about a complacent Steelers team meeting the Jaguars.
Since that didn’t happen, everyone is smiling (or masking).
Besides Roethlisberger, the MAC players are:
- Ola Adeniyi, OL, Toledo
- Robert Spillane, LB, Western Michigan
- Diontae Johnson, WR, Toledo
- Chuks Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan
Certainly, the Steelers victory celebration over the Jaguars was short-lived.
The Steelers have a short week to prepare for a Thursday night game against the Baltimore Ravens.
These teams met on November 1, and the Steelers won by the score of 28-24.
Thanksgiving schedule: 🦃
🏈Texans at Lions
🏈WFT at Cowboys
🏈Ravens at Steelers
Pittsburgh will become the third team in the past 50 years to play on Thanksgiving with an undefeated record, joining the 2011 Packers and 2015 Panthers.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 23, 2020
The Ravens have lost 3 out of the last 4 games (including the Steelers game).
Sitting at 6-4 and one game behind Cleveland and four games behind the Steelers, the Ravens should mount a good challenge.
Beyond the Ravens game, the Steelers have tough games coming up with Buffalo, Indianapolis, and Cleveland.
“We did the job today. We checked the boxes. It wasn’t perfect. But nothing is perfect about us except our record. We talked openly about that last night. We want to wear it the proper way. We want to step into stadiums and be prepared to fight and compete every week and understand that we are going to get people’s best shot. So, I liked the general attitude today. We were able to get the job done and we will get ready for our short week.”