Tomlin Was Right to Go for 2 vs. Jaguars in ’07 Wild Card Game

A lot of people, in private, in public and in the press, are knocking Mike Tomlin’s decision to go for two after scoring the 4th quarter’s second touchdown in the Steelers playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaugars.

With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, it looks simple. The extra point gives them 24, and the next TD and extra point give them 31, which means Jacksonville can only tie with field goal instead of putting it away.

  • Hindsight is 20/20.

Given the dynamics of the game at the time, Tomlin made the right move. A successful two point conversion would have made it a three point game. That would have given Pittsburgh the ability to tie the game. Although our defense had been shutting Jacksonville down, give the way they ran on us three weeks ago there was no guarantee we’d be back in the end zone.

  • You might say that after the penalty, he still should have kicked.

Why? Certainly, Reed’s kick was a sure thing. But that only gets us to 24 to 28, with ten minutes to play against the perhaps the best one-two rushing tandems in the NFL.

Tomlin’s decision to go for it was the simple embodiment of his “We live in our hopes, not our fears” philosophy. For all his differences with his predecessor, Tomlin’s actions and attitudes are not that much different. Bill Cowher used to say “I’d always prefer to walk off the field saying “I wish I hadn’t done that, as opposed to ‘I wonder what if….’”

That’s a philosophy which got us a lot of victories during the last two decades, and I am glad to see it being continued, even if we did come up short.

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