Monday, December 13, 2010

Keep Bunglin Along. Steelers 23, Bengals 7

Hmmmm, seems like that didn’t work out.

Suck it Cincinnati.

You can win your off season paper championships and have all the fun with your TV shows, we’ll just worry about making the playoffs, something you aren’t very good at doing.

Remember when people honestly thought Carson Palmer was better than Ben Roethlisberger? I mean cmon man.

"Yea, I am that much better than you"

The game was not really as close as the score would indicate. Really the Bengals looked good for all of like six minutes. That six minutes was there first drive. After that they were mud.

I am just curious where all these fans are that were so cocky last year and all off season? Pretty shocking what happens when you get your five minutes of fame. Sit back down fan boys, the real toast of the AFC North are here and they don’t want to see you.

Jump it.

Cincinnati knew it was going to be a long day when they lost the coin toss and the Steelers deferred to the second half.

Thankfully for Cincinnati they held onto the ball on the kickoff. Good for them.

The Steelers force a three and out on the first possession but LaMarr Woodley gets caught for being in the neutral zone on an incomplete third down play to give the Bengals a first down. The Bengals try to run the football. No dice. Carson Palmer found T.O. as he got matched up on Lawrence Timmons.

Ike Taylor then got called for pass interference on Ochojoko to give the Bengals the first score of the game when Carson Palmer found an offensive lineman in the end zone.

Horrid call on Ike Taylor. It was mutual contact and Taylor did nothing wrong on an overthrown ball. I guess the hold on Keisel around the head on the same play to give Palmer time was ok though. What a joke.

The Steelers first drive was a little bit of everything. The drive was stalled with a third and four sack by the Bengals to knock the Steelers out of field goal range and force a punt. Ben took a shot to the helmet on the sack, but that is ok because head shots are allowed, right?

The highlight on the drive was a flea flicker play. The highlight wasn’t that they got a 40 yard bomb or anything, but what Ben Roethlisberger did. The play broke down pretty quickly and Ben escaped two sacks and throws in a Rashard Mendenhall spin move to flicks one to Rashard for the first down.

The Bengals and Steelers exchange some punts and then Cincinnati starts to get the ball rolling again. This time they get a huge screen pass to Cedric Benson. Mind you that LaMarr Woodley was in line for the sack, and got tackled, literally, with no flag. A play later Woodley sack and Timmons tackle for loss on another attempted screen effectively end a Bengals drive and force a punt.

You want to know who is a big deal? Troy Polamalu. With the Steelers offense struggling to move the ball and pick up some consecutive first downs he ties the game up himself. In the preview we talked about Palmer throwing huge picks and he stepped in and did just that.

Troy steps in front of Terrell Owens and Palmer threw the ball right inbetween the four and the three in Troy’s jersey and he goes house shopping.

Carson Palmer actually has a chance to knock Troy out of bounce but to no avail. Tryo actually launches himself from the six yard line and dives into the end zone. What an unreal athletic play.

The Bengals get the ball back and are pretty much mud. Will Gay ends the drive with a sack. Dick LeBeau with an unreal fist pump.

[mad props to xmasape for the .gif]

The Steelers get the ball back at the two minute warning and just do work. Ben making plays down the field and managing the time and getting points. During the drive Ben took a shot to the helmet, unpenalized, and a shot two seconds after he threw the ball, unpenalized. I am so glad the NFL is taking steps to protect player safety. Two 15-yard penalties that should have been called and neither was. Embarrassing for the NFL.

The Steelers can’t get the ball into the end zone and have to settle for three points.

After a very slow start to the game it was good for the Steelers to get into the half with the lead.

Since the Steelers deferred they got the ball to start the second half and put together a pretty productive drive that resulted in three points. Ben found Hines Ward for a couple of big pass completions to make it a six point game. It got a little scary as after a completion to Hines Ben got his foot rolled on and was down in pain, but whatever because Ben got back up, and stayed in the game. The injury probably changed the play calling because Ben was banged up, but it resulted in points. Whatev.

The Bengals were forced to punt on their first possession, shocking, and the Steelers got a chance to add on to the lead. The Steelers picked up a big first down when Mike Wallace cut across the middle of field. The Steelers then took back to back holding penalties (the first one was laughable after what Cincinnati has done to Hood and Woodley today) to make it a first and 30. After a batted down first down pass Ben got to work. Hines Ward, 28 yards. That is how you pick up your teammates.

The Steelers then get called for ANOTHER hold and push themselves back. Mike Wallace on a little WR screen and man he is fast. First down. That marked the end of a dominating third quarter.

NFL quarters are 15 minutes long, the Steelers held the ball for 13:15 of the quarter. They only got three points out of it, as the Steelers last drive spilled into the fourth quarter, but with the lead and a banged up QB that is what you need to do.

With that drive spilling in the fourth quarter that is where the drive spilled over too. Ben takes back to back sacks and are forced to punt after an up and down drive. I guess you can only convert those third and miles so many times.

The Bengals get the ball for the second time in the second half, with 12 minutes to go in the game, and on the first play LaMarr Woodley runs a perfect route and Carson Palmer hits him in stride for the 14 yard touchdown. Pick six.

Palmer should get credited for a touchdown pass on that.

The Bengals get the ball back and go three and out. What a joke football team.

Mike Wallace catches a perfectly thrown ball from Ben. Leads to three points. Sushi now 7-of-7 from beyond 40 yards as he hits a 41 yard field goal to give the Steelers a 23-7 lead.

16 points up with four minutes to go. Gotta make the Bengals use up clock and if they do score make it not work it. That is exactly what happened. Bengals used up a ton of clock on this drive, except they didn’t score.

If I could give you one way that this game could end what would you think was most appropriate? If you guessed a HORRID pick by Carson Palmer you were right. Troy Polamalu gets his second pick of the game. What a terrible quarterback.


Post Game Thoughts:

-In the pregame round table discussion I had with a few of the other bloggers one of the questions that was asked was who was going to step up for the Steelers. I contended that it was going to be LaMarr Woodley. Good Lord was I right. Woodley was a straight up beast today finishing the game with five tackles, all solo, two sacks, two tackle for loss a pick and a touchdown. Seems like an ok game for a guy that some people have been labeling as having a down year. When he wasn’t being held, and tackled, he was getting in Carson Palmer’s grill and making things very uncomfortable. AFC Defensive Player of the Week unless…

-…they give it to maybe the Defensive MVP of the NFL, Troy Polamalu. Dude was just outright ridiculous again today. The offense was sputtering and the Bengals were dinking and dunking a little bit and Troy stepped in front of a Carson Palmer pass and took it to the house. Now, intercepting Carson Palmer really isn’t impressive, at all, I mean that is kinda like being excited you slept with a third rate porn star, everyone has done it. The most impressive part was how determined and athletic he was to put the ball in the end zone and to make sure Ben Roethlisberger and the offense didn’t have to come onto the field. What a string of games he has played.

-Speaking of the two monsters today, the Steelers defense was just out of their mind. The Bengals gained only 190 total yards and picked off Palmer three times while holding T.O. to only one catch for 22 yards. The Bengals ran for 34 yards (four in the second half) and only 75 yards in the second half. 75 yards, in the entire second half. The Steelers gave up an eight play, 69 yard drive to open up the game then basically decided that the ball game was going to be over. Surely some of this was due to the Bengals being an extremely untalented team but pretty amazing nonetheless. James Walker in the AFC North Blog on chips into this by bringing out this amazing line:

In the past month, Pittsburgh is allowing only nine points per game and the team is 4-0 in that stretch. This was also the second time in four games the Steelers kept an opponent to fewer than 200 total yards.


-The offense was really underwhelming, but a lot of that was due to a ton of penalties they took today. The Steelers were ticketed with nine penalties for 89 yards, six of which were holding calls by a very underwhelming Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line. In the four game winning streak the Steelers have been penalized for like 330 yards. How do you win games like that? By having Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu, that’s how. Can’t be taking penalties like that, especially as we get to the playoffs when we will match up against teams like the Ravens and/or Patriots. Figures after I broke down how good the Steelers have been at not taking penalties they go on a penalty spree like they are going out of style.

-On the plus side, the offense held the ball for over 34 minutes of the football game, including over 13 minutes of the third quarter. Just let that sink in for a second. For all the bashing of the offense after the game by some people, they held the ball for almost an ENTIRE QURTER of football. That is really unreal. Great job of holding onto the ball, overcoming adversity and picking up first downs.

-Ike Tayor for Pro Bowl and for President. As T.O. how his day went with Ike all over him.

-I will not stick on this topic much, but the officiating was terrible. There is an official that his only job is to watch the quarterback, and to have a defensive player smack him in the head and not get a flag is ridiculous. What is more ridiculous is the official telling Roethlisberger “he was just trying to make a tackle” as the reason there was no flag. With as much as the league talks about protecting the quarterback the NFL should be embarrassed with their officials the past two weeks (if not more). It is clearly obvious that quarterbacks named Mike Vick and Ben Roethlisberger will get zero protection this season. Embarrassing.

-Man if you told me that we would lose our two special teams kickers in a matter of weeks I would say that we are going to be in huge trouble this year. What do the Steelers do? Just pick up guys that make a difference. Shaun Suisham went 3/3 kicking field goals and is a perfect 9/9 on the season while civilian punter Jeremy Kapinos did his job pinning three of his five punts inside the 20 yard line and had a long of 53. Not too shabby for your first day on the job.

Suisham is happy he again made the cut on the post game.


-Two players that aren’t going to get their dues because there stats aren’t good, but both played well are Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall. Neither of there stat lines were very good (Roethlisberger: 21/33, 258 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT; Mendenhall: 18 carries, 66 yards) but both were instrumental in the win. While Roethlisberger did not toss a touchdown passes he converted a ton of third down opportunities and helped Pittsburgh go 7-of-15 on third down. Rashard didn’t hit the century mark, but I can only really remember one play where he was dropped behind the line of scrimmage. A huge reason Pittsburgh was able to convert so many third downs was because a vast majority of them were manageable. When you can get positive yards on first and second down from the running game you set yourself up very good on third down. The stat lines were gaudy, but they both got the job done and I am more than ok with that.

-Hines Ward: 8 catches, 115 yards. Nuff said.

Pretty big win for the Steelers over a hapless team. They needed to take care of business and they came out and did that. The Jets come to Heinz Field on Sunday with the Steelers having a great chance to really solidify the number two seed. A win on Sunday means they would only have to beat one of the two of Carolina or Cleveland and as much as people want to say “anyone can beat anyone on any given day” I think we could win one of those two days.

Jets suck. Get your mind right.

Mike Tomlin approves this recap.

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