Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin always seems to get a free pass from most devout fans, but there's no doubt he needs to feel a little bit of heat for his performance as a head coach this season.
For instance, Tomlin's decision to leave Byron Leftwich in on Sunday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens was one of the biggest reasons the Steelers lost the game.
Leftwich injured himself on the first offensive drive of the game for the Steelers when he landed awkwardly after a 31-yard touchdown run. He was in obvious discomfort from that point on, and we found out later that not only was he suffering from a shoulder injury, but he also fractured two ribs.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter:
Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 19, 2012
In addition to the fact that Leftwich was in obvious discomfort for the rest of the game, he lost a significant amount of arm strength as the game wore on.
Yet Tomlin never once turned to his reliable old backup quarterback, Charlie Batch.
Given the way the Steelers defense was playing, it's unconscionable to me that Batch was never brought in to manage the offense. The Steelers didn't allow a single offensive touchdown and held the explosive Ravens offense to just 200 total yards.
Surely, Batch could have done better than Leftwich, who managed to complete just 18-of-39 passes for 201 yards with zero touchdowns and one interception.
And the way Tomlin mismanaged the last game isn't the only indictment against him, either.
Though the Steelers have been hit by a rash of injuries, it is unacceptable that this team lost to the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans—not to mention the fact that it was almost beaten in Week 10 by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Does Mike Tomlin deserve more criticism?
To be honest, the only truly impressive game the Steelers have won this season was the team's Week 9 game against the New York Giants, though the Giants were reeling at the time and in desperate need of some rest.
The players haven't played up to their potential, and this team is in danger of slipping out of the playoffs. It's up to Tomlin to get this team focused and playing at its best.
So far, this team has underperformed badly in 2012, and Tomlin must right the ship before it crashes into the proverbial rocks.