The Pittsburgh Steelers remain winless after Monday night’s 20-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
“We are a frustrated group right now,” Tomlin said via the team’s website. “I just told the group that is a natural response. More important than that a couple of things we have to accept and acknowledge and number one we weren’t good enough tonight. We accept that. I emphasize tonight, like I just emphasized it to that group in there. There is a certain amount we need to swallow with this and rightfully so. We’ve got to remain unwavered collectively.”
The Bengals win is only their second one against the Steelers at home in the past 13 games. The Steelers last opened up the season 0-2 in 2002.
“We step into stadiums to win and we didn’t do that tonight,” Tomlin said.
The Steelers defense produced no turnovers, no sacks and let the Bengals pile up 407 yards.
“We have to do a better job,” linebacker LaMarr Woodley acknowledged. “They came out and blocked us good up front. We have to go back to the drawing board and clear those mistakes up and not allow a team to run the ball like that.
“We’re still going to play within character. When Coach (Dick) LeBeau makes the call it’s up to us to go out there and get the job done. It’s up to us to go out there and execute the play. They did a good job running the ball. We have to do a better job of stopping the run.”
Ben Roethlisberger, who was sacked five times, was 20-of-37 passing for 251 yards with one touchdown and a deflected interception.
“We can’t start doubting each other. Right now, there’s a general feeling of being upset,” said the Steelers quarterback.
Roethlisberger’s lone interception came with 4:55 remaining on a third-and-two at the Bengals’ 27. He threw high to Jerricho Cothery, who tipped the ball in the air allowing Reggie Nelson to come down with it to seal the Bengals victory.
“If we don’t play better than we played tonight, we won’t win a game,” said defensive co-captain Ryan Clark.
“We need to continue to work and move forward. It starts with that acknowledgement that they were a better team tonight,” said the Steelers coach. “Our margin for error was minimal.”