Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin probably never realized it. But when the Steelers beat the Chargers in Sunday’s AFC Divisional Playoff Game, Tomlin just might have saved his job as well as the jobs of other coaches and executives that would have played San Diego this postseason. It sounds hard to believe, but it is true.
- After the Chargers beat the Raiders earlier this season, Oakland fired coach Lane Kiffin two days later.
- After the Chargers beat the Chiefs last month, longtime Kansas City president Carl Peterson resigned the very next day.
- After the Chargers beat the Broncos in the regular-season finale to win the AFC West, Denver fired head coach Mike Shanahan two days later.
- And then, after the Chargers beat the Colts in the wild-card round, Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy retired.
Now, we’ve heard of players being coach killers. But never has a team been one. The Chargers are. They’re a coach and executive killer. Tomlin has no idea how fortunate he is. Yes, he’s coaching in his first AFC Championship Game Sunday. But unlike Kiffin, Peterson, Shanahan and Dungy, he has a job. He survived the Chargers.