Mike Tomlin said Monday he’d defend Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow the same way if given another chance, even after Denver burned the defending AFC champions for an 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime in a stunning 29-23 victory.
“Obviously they made some nice plays on us and in hindsight you would analyze it, but your options are limited in terms of how you attack them,” Tomlin said. The Steelers crowded the line of scrimmage and dared Tebow to beat the NFL’s top-ranked defense with his sometimes erratic left arm.
Tebow obliged by throwing for 316 yards and a pair of long touchdowns, including the dart Demaryius Thomas turned into the quickest overtime score in NFL playoff history. “They made a nice football play,” Tomlin said.
The first playoff game in which the league’s revised overtime rules never got to see the new rules in play after Thomas slipped past cornerback Ike Taylor then outraced Taylor and backup safety Ryan Mundy to the end zone. Tomlin had no problems with the defensive play call, an inverted zone that called for Mundy and Troy Polamalu to crowd the line of scrimmage to stop the run.