Steelers Topple Bengals 24-17 in Critical AFC North Matchup

At the beginning of the year if we told you the Steelers wouldn’t meet the Bengals until week 10, the Bengals would be starting a rookie QB, the Bengals wouldn’t have Ochocinco and the Bengals would be 6-2, you’d have laughed at us, we would have laughed too. But that’s exactly the scenario that the Steelers faced today and they came out victorious over a very tough, up and coming team from Cincinnati. 

The black and gold jumped out to a very quick 14-0 lead and it looked like the route was on. Big Ben was once again the catalyst completing 21 of 33 passes for 245 yards, 1 TD and 1 pick. In all reality, it should have been 2 TD’s and 0 picks but Heath Miller had a couple of unfortunate plays. Heath bobbled the ball twice and couldn’t pull it in and that resulted in an interception and eventually led to a Bengal Field Goal. He also caused a Ben to Cotchery TD pass to be called back on a questionable pass interference call.  Miller did add 3 receptions for 31 yards, but he’d probably say on a personal level this was a game to forget. Overall though, he’s a team player and I’m sure he’s happy his blunders didn’t cost the team the game and that they came out on top.  Ben hit 9 receivers in total but his top two targets were Mike Wallace, and Antonio Brown.  Wallace had 6 catches for 54 yards and Brown had 5 for 86. Brown is a great asset and it was noted in the room we were watching that some of his acrobatic catches are similar to that of Larry Fitzgerald. He’s not as big as Fitzgerald but he makes the plays almost as well. 

Rashard Mendenhall was given the ball 16 times, as we told you in the Game Day section he’d get it close to 20 times. His 16 carries only netted him 44 yards, but he had 2 TD’s and the TD on 3rd and short from the 9 yard line was a thing of beauty. 

Defensively they got the job done with a couple of interceptions by Gay and Timmons but Andy Dalton was pretty impressive, throwing for 170 yards and 2 TD passes. He and AJ Green are going to be a couple of guys we’re going to have to deal with for the next several years. In fact they make people in Cincy forget all about Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco.  The Steelers were not able to sack Dalton once today and the Bengals did a good job of containing the Steelers blitzing linebackers.  While Ryan Clark led the team with 8 tackles, and Polamalu seemed to be in the backfield making plays a lot today, overall nobody was a real standout on defense.

The team came back after that devastating loss last week and picked up the pieces. They went into a hostile environment, got the win, improved to 7-3 and now have a bye week to get healthy. Aside from the 2 Baltimore losses, it’s been a great start to the season.

This week’s superlatives and comments:

Stars of the Game:  Big Ben: He completed 21 of 33 passes for 245 yards and a TD. He constantly made plays and proved once again that he’s the MVP of this team.

Antonio Brown-He had another big day with 5 catches and 86 yards.

Bench: Hines Ward: It’s just time. He was thrown to 1 time and did catch the ball, but he was never seen again.

Move to Starter:  Antonio Brown:  He’s the 2nd best receiver now, it’s time he starts. Sure, he’s not a possesion receiver, but at this time we think he should start.

Poor coaching move of the game:  With 44 seconds to go in the first half the Bengals had a 3rd and 7 in their own territory, the Steelers had 2 timeouts, Tomlin chose not to take one. The Bengals ran the ball and the clock down to 7 seconds on 4th down and then Tomlin took a timeout. It made no sense. You HAVE to take the timeout with 44 seconds to go. Then again after the 3rd down play. 

7-3, up next: Bye Week


2 Comments on "Steelers Topple Bengals 24-17 in Critical AFC North Matchup"

  1. longarm on Mon, 14th Nov 2011 1:03 pm 

    You are correct Antonio Brown made some Larry Fitzgerald type catches but he is no Larry Fitzgerald (Pitt product) at least not yet. He has the makings of a great receiver let’s hope he keeps it up.

    I agree Tomlin needs to get his head into the game. That was bad game management by not taking the time out.

  2. Kiki on Mon, 14th Nov 2011 5:39 pm 

    Great game…loved the fact they came back from that horrible loss last week. I still don’t agree that Hines is done. Maybe he’s not a starter, but he can be used more often than he is being used now. He’s still got it!