The Pittsburgh Steelers had one last shot to pull off a remarkable comeback against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. With a few seconds remaining, Ben Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown on a crossing route over the middle. Brown carried it into Cowboys territory for a 44-yard gain as time expired, but the play ended when he ran out of bounds.

Brown opted to flee to the sideline instead of attempting a lateral, or reversing field and running the other way to extend the play. Why? He gave an explanation this week as to why he didn’t stay in bounds.

“In that situation, there was nowhere to go,” Brown said, via the Observer-Reporter. “I’m running at full speed. We had one guy (in front of him) and three guys to the other side of the field. We lose a game and everyone finds a reason to say that one play was the reason we lost.

“What should I do, just fall down in bounds or get tackled in bounds?”

Brown has a point. Staying in bounds wouldn’t have helped the Steelers win the game, or given them a chance to run another play. Time had expired and the game would have been over whether he got tackled by Byron Jones in bounds or ducked out on the sideline.

“It’s not like we had a lateral play or were running a play that would give us a chance to score,” Brown continued. “In that situation, I was singularly focused on trying to get into the end zone.

“Even if I fall down in bounds, the game is over.”

However, there’s one problem with that: Mike Tomlin had told him previously what to do – just as he does every week.