What the heck was Mike Tomlin doing?
That’s the first question that pops into my head from the trio of Thanksgiving games on Thursday.
In case you didn’t see it, the Pittsburgh Steelers coach – he says unknowingly – stepped onto the field during a kickoff return that was looking like it could have been a touchdown.
Ravens speedster Jacoby Jones had basically one man to beat down the sidelines, but was forced to slow down slightly and make a bit of a cut away from the sidelines with Tomlin standing with a foot in bounds. That allowed Steelers defender Cortez Allen to stop Jones and save the touchdown.
But really, what the heck was Tomlin doing?
He wasn’t even looking at the play it seems. Was he watching the video board instead of looking at what was happening in front of him? And why didn’t anybody on the Steelers sideline say anything to him? Or maybe try to pull him back.
If Jones had kept on his course and ran into Tomlin, that surely would have seen the coach ejected. So why did he try to avoid him?
And why didn’t the ref on the sideline flag him? Stepping on the field during a play is at the least a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty – which actually isn’t too bad for saving your team seven points.
The ref clearly saw him too. After all, he was running right towards Tomlin also.
While I’m sure that the NFL will fine Tomlin for this shenanigan, shouldn’t there be a heavier penalty in place for stopping an almost-sure touchdown illegally? The tradeoff of 15 yards to save seven points simply isn’t enough.
All the lines are from 5Dimes and the home teams are in CAPs.
INDIANAPOLIS -4 over Tennessee
If the Colts were ever going to put together a decent first half, it would have be here right? They already know what the Titans will throw at them, having played a few weeks ago and now have home-field advantage. The real answer for starting out quicker may be not starting with Trent Richardson at running back. #FreeDonaldBrown.
Denver -4.5 over KANSAS CITY
Who looked worse last week: The Broncos blowing that massive lead in New England or the Chiefs giving up 43 points at home? For a team that’s supposed to rely on its defence, Kansas City’s is coming apart at the wrong time.
Jacksonville +7.5 over CLEVELAND
Brandon Weeden is giving more than a TD? Sounds good to me! The Jags have picked it up and are actually playing well since their bye.
Tampa Bay +9.5 over CAROLINA
Seems like a lot of points to be giving, even though the Panthers are among the hottest teams out there. But the Bucs have won a couple in a row and looked decent in doing so. Their defence can be top-notch and the offence isn’t that bad.
MINNESOTA (pk) over Chicago
Adrian Peterson getting to play against this terrible Bears run defence is a gift from the fantasy gods for his owners and the Vikings. The Bears need to slow him down to have a chance and that’s easier said than done.
Arizona +3 over PHILADELPHIA
Now that Nick Foles has been named the starter for the rest of the season, this is when the pressure’s really off and he’ll start slacking. The Cardinals have looked great and should be able to expose Philly’s poor defence.
Miami (pk) over NEW YORK JETS
Geno Smith needs a lot of polishing. He might be better off watching from the sidelines, but instead will probably blow it for the Jets.
BUFFALO -3 over Atlanta
The Falcons need to take a nose dive to ensure they get the top pick and Jadeveon Clowney. They can’t blow that with a win here.
St. Louis +10 over SAN FRANCISCO
The 49ers seem to have found another ace linebacker with Ahmad Brooks, which gives them about 13 by my count. It’s just too bad that their offence stalls almost every game. The Rams always play the Niners tough and have been frisky lately.
New England -9 over HOUSTON
The Texans go from double-digit favourites two weeks in a row to nearly double-digit dogs at home? That’s how far the mighty Texans have fallen.
Cincinnati (pk) over SAN DIEGO
Feels like a gut pick. I’m not as high on Philip Rivers and Co. as many others are. Plus, Bengals are coming off their bye.
New York Giants (pk) over WASHINGTON
That loss against Dallas was just a hiccup for the Giants. If anything, people should start writing them off again.
New Orleans +5.5 over SEATTLE
Talk about a marquee matchup for Monday night! This should be an instant classic. The suspensions for Seattle’s secondary have come at exactly the wrong time. Drew Brees should be able to utilize his plethora of receivers even better with two of the Seahawks’ best suspended.
This week: 2-1
Last week: 6-7-1
This season: 81-90-7