The Steelers picked up a huge win on the road in Cincinnati and used a strong second half and timely defense to move to 6-2 and set up a great match up for next week. It was early and often for hte special teams and the defense was able to make enough plays. It wasn't pretty in the second half but what does Mike Tomlin always say? Style points don't matter in the NFL. Truth
Lets get to the post game.
The Steelers got the game started right. It was almost as if someone took the Miami Dolphins game and just flipped it the other way around. Well that and the Steelers have a competent offense to play with.
The Steelers get the ball, defer. Jeff Reed got off a so-so kick and then special teams ace Emmanuel Sanders made it happen. Nothing like the Bengals bungling it up. The Steelers take over in great field position. The Steelers made a few plays and found themselves in a third and three. Beautiful play call where they fake the reverse to Ranle El and then threw a pass to a wide open Rashard Mendenhall for the first down. A few plays later Mendenhall found pay dirt.
Suck it Cincinnati.
The Bengals get the ball back and actually make some headway. The first four plays were running plays and the Bengals gained 20 yards. Set up a third and one and what do the Bengals do? Throw the football. Incomplete. Terrible play call.
What happens next? The Bengals punt, or they at least tried to. Will Gay came on a stunt and evidently the Bengals think that 1) You don’t have to block people and 2) you can take your good old time punting the ball. Blocked kick. Steelers get it. What a start. First blocked punt in a good while for the Steelers and it turns into three points.
10-0 good guys.
The Steelers get the ball back and shockingly run a WR screen. Hines fumbles, Bengals ball. They move it fairly quickly and Palmer finds T.O. who just makes Will Gay look silly in the slot. Just unfair.
Just as fast as the things went well, they went really, really bad. Pouncey and Kemo get hurt. So the Steelers are down to only five lineman and it hurt.
Carson Palmer and co. get the ball back and do what they do, throw HUGE interceptions. Lawrence Timmons picks this pass off and was it impressive. Not so much impressive because it was a diving interception or anything, but because he was matched up on T.O. 1-on-1 with no safety help. LT undercuts the route and gets the pick. Unreal.
After the pick, Hines, touchdown.
As the half comes to an end Cincinnati has a shot to cut into the lead some more. A 51-yard try by the Bengals goes horribly wide left and the Steelers are set up with about 44 seconds to go and two timeouts. They move the ball downfield a bit and Skippy hits a 53-yard field goal. Money.
The best part about the first half didn’t even really happen on the field. As the Bengals were going into the half the fans let them know how they felt. Booed off the field at home. Awesome.
The Steelers and Bengals traded some drives that resulted in nothing in the second half and it looked as if the Steelers were going to cruise to an easy win. Yea right, easy win. What are those? A scoreless third quarter isn’t good for an offense, but when you are up 20-7 then things aren’t really that bad when you can get 15 minutes away from a win.
The third quarter was a defensive show from the linebackers. Evidently the Bengals didn’t hear about these two guys we call James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley. Both recorded sacked and weren’t even so much as touched. They wouldn’t have been caught in a game of it tag. Jesus.
The Steelers open up the fourth win a trick. Randle El reverse pass. Mike Wallace ftw.
It wasn’t the greatest pass by El but Wallace went up and brought down the jump ball. It’s called being tough.
This is where it gets interesting. Really interesting. Make you want to throw up on your computer screen interesting.
With about 13 minutes to go Bryant McFadden gets victimized. T.O. catches a 27 yard touchdown pass. For all the grief I gave Carson Palmer that was one hell of a throw. Drops a dime to T.O. in the back corner of the end zone and made it kinda close.
This is when all hell broke loose.
The Steelers get the ball back and move it a little, then something really weird happens. Ben drops back to pass and throw up a duck. He wasn’t hit, he wasn’t really rushed. He had a pretty good look at Heath Miller and the ball just came out of his hand wrong. Basically goes end over end and the Bengal pick it.
When it rains it pours. Palmer goes back to pass and it is incomplete, but then there is a penalty. Casey Hampton gets called for diving at Palmers legs. Problem is that Hampton was pushed into Palmers legs after being held. I forgot that 300+ pound players can stop in the middle of being pushed in the back to stop from hitting a player.
Next play Palmer goes to T.O. down the sidelines and Ike Taylor had perfect coverage on T.O. Mr. Owens then throws a shit fit on the field and the back judge, 30 yards away throws the flag on Taylor. So the official that was three feet away from them didn’t have a good view but a back judge 30 yards away does. I honestly hope nobody ever talks about the Steelers getting calls to win. The Bengals were set up at the one yard line and scored two plays later. The Bengals earned none of those yards on two horse shit penalties. Whatever.
The next Steelers drive was all Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall carried the ball on all seven plays of the drive and gained 43 yards and set the Steelers up for a pretty makeable field goal to put the game away with only four minutes to go. Reed hooks the 46 yarder. Unreal year for Reed.
The Bengals have a chance. Move the ball down the field and with about 40 seconds left the Bengals were on the Pittsburgh 12 yard line with a third and five. Incomplete pass. Fourth and five. Does this remind you of all of that game last year in Cincinnati. The Bengals converted on this kinda play then won the game. James Harrison happened this year. Jordan Shipley went over the middle, caught the ball and was smacked by Ike Taylor and James Harrison. Incomplete. Great feeling.
The Steelers are now 6-0 under Mike Tomlin on Monday Night Football. The Steelers are pretty good at playing football in prime time.
Lawrence Timmons is the most underrated defensive player in the NFL right now. He just does it all. His play covering Terrell Owens 1-on-1 and getting the pick is just downright sickening. What an athlete. Dude needs to go to the Pro Bowl. Any time you can even be considered the best linebacker on a team with LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison then you are doing something right.
No idea what is up with Jeff Reed. Here is someone who goes and makes a huge 53 yarder right before the half and then misses a 46 yarder pretty badly when it could end the game. Before the season he wanted a big time contract and I thought he should get it. I mean can you remember the last reliable kicker we had like Reed? Sure his season has been pretty shitty (as evident by his league worst kicking %) but his body of work gives him more chances for me.
Rashard Mendenhall really had a nice game. On that drive in the fourth quarter that eventually led to the Jeff Reed missed field goal it was all Mendy, all the time. He gained 99 yards on 22 carries for a pretty nice 4.5 average. I must have to agree with some other peoples sentiment that I have no idea why Ike Redman and MeMo are on the field on some second and third down plays. Rashard has proved he is a three down back and he is good at it. The drawback of that is you risk him getting hurt. If Mendy gets hurt then this is gonna turn into shit really quick. Redman and MeMo are our other two options. Jesus. Whatever. Mendy needs to be on the field as much as possible. Hands down.
Mike Wallace is really, really fast. He tortured the Cincinnati DB’s all night and it wasn’t even close. With cushion he was getting separation down field. Ben has a big arm and he was even under throwing Wallace, once on what could be a TD pass. Wallace is still learning how to play receiver and when he gets a little more polished on the underneath stuff he is going to be a top flight receiver.
The offensive line is getting beat up. Bad. Pouncey and Kemo went down during the game and Max Starks is probably going to go on IR with a disk issue in his neck. This is not good. Jon Scott looked really bad last night and there just isn’t much left on this roster to sustain such injuries. Luckily Pouncey came back and Kemo may be back next week which is good, but losing Starks is huge. He has been a steady starter and when you think about it anyone out on the wire isn’t going to be to his level. If they were that person would be on a team right now. It will be interesting to see what the Steelers do here, hopefully they can get this done without Max.
Ike Taylor played a pretty great game. James Harrison was there for the final break up pass and will most likely get all the credit but Ike was right there too to get some hands on that ball. He was a pretty big force in the game and he didn’t have too many plays where he was beat. Good game by Ike and overall he has had a great season in my view. I will say it again, resign this man.
On the Cincinnati side I have a few thoughts. I know I give T.O. a lot of shit but dude came to play last night. He is a Hall of Fame WR and last night he showed why. He caught 10 balls for 141 yards and two touchdowns. He is one of the only guys that was actually showing like he knew what he was doing last night. I hate the Bengals but I can appreciate someone that goes balls out and cares. T.O went after it and even thought he talks about me, me, me, he comes to play.
Ochojoko talk about how this was a Super Bowl team before the season and about how he could coexist and keep all the off the field jargon away from his game. He can’t do that. Last night showed what Jokeo was. One catch for 15 yards. The one catch wasn’t the big deal, I mean he never really plays well against the Steelers but the way he acted after some passes did. Carson overthrew him one time and he freaked out on the field at Carson Palmer. It was so bad that Marvin Lewis actually pulled Jokeo off the field and sat him. Just unreal.
The Steelers don’t have much time to think about this as they have the short week to get their shit together and get ready for another huge game. Luckily they are done with this three game road swing and they get to come home to the friendly confines of Pittsburgh, PA to play one of their most hated rivals. Bring it New England.
Here We Go.