Mike Tomlin: Steelers 'Stunk' in Loss vs. 49ers; Will 'Carry That Stench for a While'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 12, 2023

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on prior to a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Acrisure Stadium on September 10, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin doesn't want his team to totally move on from the 30-7 drubbing it suffered in Week 1 at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers.

"We stunk up the joint. Myself included," he told reporters Tuesday. "... We have to carry that stench for a while. We're big boys. We can take it. We better roll our sleeves up. We better not forget what happened. That's what yesterday was about for us."

Neither the final score nor the box score tell the story of how comprehensively the Steelers were beaten. They fell behind 20-0 with 8:22 left in the first half, and a 95-yard scoring drive helped spare them from a truly putrid offensive output through the first two quarters.

Christian McCaffrey's 65-yard touchdown run in the first minute of the third quarter also blunted whatever momentum Pittsburgh had generated before halftime.


CMC 65-YARD TOUCHDOWN<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SFvsPIT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SFvsPIT</a> on FOX<br>📱: Stream on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLPlus?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLPlus</a> <a href="https://t.co/G4uoYVOqQn">https://t.co/G4uoYVOqQn</a> <a href="https://t.co/zi4Pfvw8zv">pic.twitter.com/zi4Pfvw8zv</a>

Tomlin can at least take some solace from the fact the Steelers weren't the only team to lay an egg in Week 1.

The New York Giants were on the receiving end of a 40-point shutout at the hands of the New York Giants. The Cincinnati Bengals mustered only three points and 142 yards of offense in a loss to the Cleveland Browns. Thanks to Josh Allen's four turnovers, the Buffalo Bills couldn't overcome the New York Jets despite Aaron Rodgers getting injured four snaps into the game.

The opening week of the season might have been even more anomalous than its usual standards. Playing the Cleveland Browns on Monday night in Week 2 is an opportunity for Tomlin and his players to set the record straight.