Mike Tomlin scathing of undefeated Steelers despite win over Ravens: ‘It was really junior varsity’

Mike Tomlin was brutal in his assessment of the Pittsburgh Steelers, despite maintaining their unbeaten start to the NFL season.

The Steelers improved to 11-0 – the 13th team to achieve the feat in the Super Bowl era – courtesy of Wednesday’s hard-fought 19-14 victory over the Lamar Jackson-less Baltimore Ravens.

It was a scrappy encounter at Heinz Field, where the clash went ahead after being rescheduled three times due to a coronavirus outbreak within the Ravens organisation.

The Steelers stand alone in the NFL, but head coach Tomlin was far from impressed with his team’s performance.

“It was really junior varsity, to be quite honest with you,” Tomlin said post-game. “It was in all three phases. We couldn’t run the ball effectively when we needed to. We dropped too many significant passes, very catchable, makable passes. We didn’t make significant plays in the special teams game.

“Our kick-off coverage unit wasn’t good enough. We turned the ball over. We gave up big plays in critical moments on defense. Can’t have it.”

Tomlin continued: “[The Ravens] converted a long run on a possession down before the half. Unacceptable. They had a 70-yard touchdown late in the game. Unacceptable.

“We’re fortunate tonight. It’s good to proceed with the victory. I acknowledge that. But not a lot happened tonight to be proud of or to be excited about other than that.”

“We make no excuses,” he said. “We seek no comfort. We didn’t play well, coach well tonight.”

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 36 of 51 passes for 266 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Roethlisberger was 13-0 as a starter in 2004, now he is 11-0 this season. The two-time Super Bowl champion joined Peyton Manning (2005 and 2009) as the only QBs since at least 1950 to win each of their first 11 starts in a season twice, per NFL Research.

According to Stats Perform, Roethlisberger is also the first quarterback to have four consecutive games with 250-plus passing yards and no sacks taken since Dan Marino in 1988.

“I need to be more accurate with my passes,” Roethlisberger said. “I need to give them better chances to make the plays. There weren’t some plays made today when they needed to be.”

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