Steelers’ Mike Tomlin ‘Thankful’ to Beat Mistake-Prone Bears

Mike Tomlin

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on before his team plays against the Chicago Bears at Heinz Field on November 8, 2021 in Pittsburgh.

“Had it all the way, right?”

That’s the way Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin opened his postgame news conference after his team defeated the Chicago Bears, 29-27, to raise its record to 5-3.

“Man, that’s just the nature of this thing. It’s the National Football League. You are going to be in battles. The most important thing is that you smile in the face of adversity and deliver the necessary plays. That’s the silver lining in tonight’s performance. We were up against it, a lot of it due to our own doing but you got to also have to tip your cap to the Bears. They competed and they competed for 60 minutes.

“The cool thing is we made the necessary plays, Ben took the offense down the field and we got the necessary field goal, we were able to close the game out, and I’m thankful for that.

The Bears Were Penalized 12 Times

But the Steelers also benefitted from the fact that the Bears were flagged a dozen times for 115 yards. That’s 10 more yards than the Steelers had rushing the ball and only 60 fewer yards than the Steelers passed the ball.

More than a few of the flags were controversial, including a 15-yard penalty incurred by former Steelers linebacker Cassius Marsh, who sacked Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a seven-yard loss with 3:34 left in the game …

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… only to be flagged for taunting the Pittsburgh bench.

Instead of getting off the field, the Bears had to continue to play defense and ultimately allowed a 41-yard field goal that allowed Pittsburgh to increase its lead to 26-20.

Marsh played in one game for the Steelers last season and was with Pittsburgh this year until the end of August. Chicago signed him to its practice squad earlier this week and elevated him to the active roster in time for the game.

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T.J. Watt’s Sack Attack

When Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt recorded his second sack of the game on Monday night, it was his 60th career quarterback takedown in just 69 games, “the fourth-fewest games to that total in NFL history,” per Steelers Twitter.

In the end, he had three sacks on the night, allowing him to tie—and then surpass—former Steelers edge rusher Joey Porter for sixth-most sacks in franchise history.

In addition, he recorded seven total tackles (four solo), with three tackles for loss, three quarterback hits and one pass defensed.

Mike Tomlin Reached a Milestone, Too

With the victory, the Steelers head coach recorded his 150th career win, just the 20th coach in NFL history to reach that milestone.

That’s one more victory than next-most-recent Steelers coach Bill Cowher, who was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past summer.

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