The Steelers did something they have not done in the last eight times in Cincinnati, they lost. I am not going to sit here and beat around the bush, this one hurts. It hurts really bad. Cincinnati did not play a very good game but they got it done when they needed it done. 3-3 on fourth down conversions, late touchdown adds up to a win. The Steelers got away from what worked, they played very conservative down the stretch, and they lost. Not much more to say than that. The Steelers are now in third place in the AFC North and two games behind the Ravens. The good news? It is week three. Lets put things in perspective. Get your mind right.
Once again the Steelers came out and were just on fire to start. After a Cincinnati three and out the Steelers then went down and got a Jeff Reed field goal to build a 3-0 lead. Another three and out and a touchdown later the Steelers went up 10-0 and it was golden. Another red zone failure led to a Jeff Reed field goal and a 13-0 first quarter lead. The Steelers held the Bengals to -10 yards in the first quarter. I thought the route was on. I was wrong. Bengals battle back and win.
Ben played pretty well. He went 22/31 for 276 yards a TD and a pick. A pick six none the less. Barf. Ben and Santonio were on the wrong page and Jon Joseph took it back which was a killer for the Steelers. Not sure who's fault it was but it was just a killer for the Steelers and it gave the Bengals a lot of confidence that they could come back.
Limas Sweed had the game wrapped up for the Steelers. Ben throws a great strike down the middle of the field on third down and Limas had the ball in his hands and when he it the ground it came out. There is no excuse for dropping that ball. That was the ball game and Sweed let it go through his hands. Not completely his fault, but that was a huge part of the game.
Mike Wallace really stepped up for the Steelers. Seven catches for 102 yards. He is the number three receiver on this team. Limas Sweed is not ready for the big time but Mike Wallace made a huge step to gettin more balls. It looks as if Big Ben is starting to believe in him and trusts him with the ball in big situations.
The defense gave up a good bit of big plays today. Cedric Benson went for a 23 yard touchdown, basically untouched to make the score 20-15. You rarely see that kind of defense out of the Steelers. They make their trademark off of stopping the run and it really wasn't there for the Steelers at points in the game. The defensive line really never got to Carson Palmer and if you are going to give Palmer time, he is going to beat you. The Steelers sacked him twice but on that last drive he got time to throw and he burned the Steelers.
I am not real sure what was going on, but the play calling got very conservative near the end of the game. Listen, Willie Parker was running the ball well, the line did a pretty decent job but Ben is your horse. Ben is what makes this team goes and Ben is who you ride during these games. The short passes were working and it was pretty much an extension of the running game and the Steelers just went away from it. I have no idea what was going on, but that was kind of troublesome. I know the Steelers are known for smash mouth football but this is a different time for the Steelers whether you like it or not.
There is so much more to talk about and I have no idea where to even go from here. I will go over more stuff over the next couple of days so stay tuned for more incite. This one is tough
Here We Go