Mike Tomlin after Steelers' crushing defeat: 'We made the bed, we'll lay in it'

Mike Tomlin after Steelers' crushing defeat: 'We made the bed, we'll lay in it'

Mike Tomlin told his Steelers team “we made the bed” after their playoff hopes suffered a major setback with a crushing defeat to the Saints.

The Steelers (8-6-1) fell to a 31-28 loss on Sunday, having fought back to lead in the fourth quarter at the Superdome, as the Saints (13-2) clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Tomlin’s squad now trails the Ravens in the AFC North, and needs to beat the Bengals in Week 17 while hoping the Browns beat John Harbaugh’s team if they are to win the division.

A dramatic contest ended when wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster fumbled as his team frantically sought an answer after Michael Thomas caught what proved to be the game-winning touchdown from Drew Brees with 85 seconds remaining.

Stevan Ridley had earlier fumbled for the Steelers, who also failed with a gutsy fake punt call on fourth down from their own 42-yard line while leading by four points with four minutes left.

“We made the bed, we’ll lay in it,” Tomlin told reporters after the game.

“I’ll expect us to lay in it very well and perform. We’ll control what it is that we can control and that’s our preparation to play next week. All other things out of our control, we won’t worry much about [them].

“Like everyone else, we’ve had 15 opportunities to this point to state a case for ourselves so we won’t lament about our positioning. We’ll just simply control the things that are in front of us, and that’s next week’s preparation and play.”

On the fake punt call, Tomlin took responsibility, saying he had wanted to be aggressive.

Unless results in the final week of the regular season fall in their favor, the Steelers, who have lost four of their last five games from a previously strong position, will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

But quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said: “The story is not written yet. I told the guys in there. 

“I said, ‘Listen, it’s not over yet; this chapter of the story is not done’. Obviously we don’t control it, but let’s see what happens.

“There are a lot of guys in that locker room who are taking this hard. I think you would be more worried if they weren’t.”