Friday, December 10, 2010

Steelers Game Day 13 - vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Fresh off a thrilling 13-10 win over the Baltimore Ravens in one of the biggest regular season games in recent memory the Steelers will play the reeling Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field. While some label this as a "trap game" I don't really think that the Steelers are really going to treat it as such. This is a division game that is against a team that celebrated sweeping the Steelers on the Heinz Field turf last year. If you don't think that the Steelers remember all that trash talk then you have something wrong with you.

Even though the Bengals are bad they will not be a push over. They always play the Steelers tough and I wouldn't be surprised if this was a decently close game in the fourth quarter. I surely hope it isn't, but it would shock me.

Enough jib jab, let's look at the stats:

Pittsburgh 13, Baltimore 10
Passing: Roethlisberger: 22/38, 253 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Mendenhall: 19 car, 45 yards, 0 TD
Receiving: Wallace: 5 rec, 76 yards, 0 TD


New Orleans 34, Cincinnati 30
Passing: Palmer: 23/33, 249 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Benson: 19 car, 49 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Ochojoko: 5 rec, 96 yards, 0 TD


Offense (rank in NFL)

Total Offense
Pittsburgh: 330.6 yards/game (21st)
Cincinnati: 328.0 yards/game (22nd)

Passing
Pittsburgh: 210.6 yards/game (18th)
Cincinnati: 235.7 yards/game (13th)

Rushing
Pittsburgh: 120.0 yards/game (10th)
Cincinnati: 92.3 yards/game (26th)

Points
Pittsburgh: 22.3 points/game (t14th)
Cincinnati: 21.3 points/game (20th)


Defense

Total Defense
Pittsburgh: 301.6 yards/game (5th)
Cincinnati: 347.3 yards/game (20th)

Rush
Pittsburgh: 62.3 yards/game (1st)
Cincinnati: 124.9 yards/game (24th)

Pass
Pittsburgh: 239.3 yards/game (24th)
Cincinnati: 222.4 yards/game (15th)

Points
Pittsburgh: 15.9 points/game (2nd)
Cincinnati: 26.8 points/game (28th)

And now the Cincinnati Bengals:





Jump it.



If there is a different and more inventive way to lose a football game then you probably want to watch the Cincinnati Bengals a little bit more.

This can basically sum up Cincinnati’s season:



On the surface this looks like it is going to be a pretty easy victory for the Steelers. I mean look at the last 10 games for both teams:



Do I feel bad for the Bengals? Hell no.

Do I feel bad for their fans? Hell no.

Know why? Because all they did offseason was pop off about how good they were and how they were the toast of the AFC and they were this high powered team and how there defense was so good that all they needed was the offense just to get a couple of scores and it was all gravy.


How’d that work out? Defense is bottom third and your offense is pretty good at turning the football over. Don’t forget about blowing HUGE leads and making bonehead plays.

The fans were even worse.

No sympathy. I hope they don’t win another game this year. Thank God Ochojoko has like five TV shows though. That is what it is all about.

Classic case of talking yourself up before you even do anything and then falling flat on your face. The same way the Jets are going down. Not saying I am surprised, but whatev.





No, Carson Palmer hasn’t looked any different since the last time we talked about him.

All the smack talk aside Palmer didn’t turn the ball over once against the Saints (shocking I know) and actually gave them a chance to win despite only throwing one touchdown pass. Palmer once was a really good QB who just hasn’t got his shit together since the Steelers (Kemo) knocked him out of the playoffs some time ago.

Last time the Steelers played against the Bengals, they almost pulled out a win if it wasn’t more James Harrison for separating the ball from Jordan Shipley.

Although Palmer hasn’t been good this year if he gets the ball down a score with like a couple minutes left then I will be worried. Until he throws that huge pick he always does. Clockwork this year.



Has anyone ran on the Steelers? Answer: No.

Cedric Benson was pretty good last year. Not really this year.



As you can see Benson only has gained a little over 800 yards this year and only has cracked 100 yards twice this season. Last season through 12 games he had four 100 yard games even though he has already matched his touchdown total from a year ago.

Either way there isn’t much that Cincinnati is going to do on the ground.

Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard round out the rushing attack. Ha. Good luck.



The Bengals receiving core could be really, really, good. There are just a few problems with them that might inhibit them from being very good:

1) They don’t have a quarterback

And

2) They are more worried with playing TV host than they are actually playing the football game.

Granted I will give the Bengals this, TO has been a really good addition for this team. He really torched the Steelers the last time these two teams played and there is a pretty good chance that you will see the Bengals do the same thing they did in week eight, which was to put Owens in the slot and match him up on Will Gay/Keenan Lewis combo.

The Steelers could get creative and try to match up Ike Taylor on Owens and have him shadow him all over the field, but that really isn’t how the Steelers like to do things. I wouldn’t mind seeing it but I am not going to hold my breath for that to happen.

As long as we don’t have to see this “celebration” again I will be ok



Ochojoko will probably get the full coverage of Ike Taylor so that means another pedestrian day for Joko. In the last 10 contests against the Steelers (since Ike came into the league and started on a full time basis) he only has 41 receptions for 499 yards and a lone touchdown. That is shut down city.

Jordan Shipley plays for this team. Most famously he was separated from the ball at the end of the last game when, if he holds on, they win the game (most likely). Sucks he didn’t. Shipley might be good for a first down catch or two but he is not T.J. ;adslfj;adkfjaldkfj from Bengals years prior who would hold on to those and make the difference.



Who cares. Get ‘em James and LaMarr



Remember when everyone thought this defense was the next best thing to artificial grass in the NFL?

So much for this being a “great defesnse”

Word is that Paul Brown actually plays this during the fourth quarter to try and pump up their fans and the defense ala what the Steelers do with Renegade:



Just what I heard.

The team’s leading tackler, Dhani Jones, is better at his acting than he is at playing defense:



Ouch. His defense can’t be that bad can it? Oh, it can? Jesus.

I wonder how it would work if they showed a piece of paper with the Bengals results and stats and asked him if it smelled. If he could lie his way through that I would vote him for Pro Bowl for the next 45 days non stop.

Keith Rivers and Ray Maualuga join Jones on the average at best linebacker core. All three of them have combined for two sacks this year. That is right, two between the three of them.

The Bengals have 14 sacks as a team. James Harrison has 10, himself. Great backers you go there Cincinnati.

Secondary is probably where the Bengals are the strongest, which doesn’t say much because the Bengals are about as sturdy as the competition in a bounty commercial:



And just so you are wondering that acting was much better than Dhani Jones AND that kid dressed up is scarier than anyone on the Bengals defense.

John Joseph and Leon Hall will man the corners and both of them can actually play a little ball. Hall has four picks and nine passes defended while Joseph has three picks and five passes defended. The rest of the Bengals have only intercepted seven passes between everyone else. Not good.

I would say that the safety situation in Cincinnati is overrated, but you would actually have to be rated in order to get that distinction from me.

Roy Williams is mud. Ben should attack him every chance he gets. Williams is ok against the run but is God awful against the pass.

Chris Croker might not be at the game. He/She is still pretty angry.



I know Chris Crocker is IR’d. Did you really think I was going to pass on using that YouTube?

Tank Johnson also plays on the defense. Thought he was in jail.

Actually he is hurt too. Whatev.


Some keys:

-Get to Carson Palmer. If you give him some chances to throw then he is going to be able to make a few throws. If you get in his grill he is going to throw some atrocious picks. I know I am giving Palmer a lot of credit here but all it takes it one drive where they are down four and he comes down and scores a touchdown to beat us. Can’t lose to teams like this and getting in Palmers grill is a must.

-Make the Bengals give up on the run. They will give up on the run, but make them give up on it before they even think about starting to run the football. The Steelers defense is the best in the league against the run so let the Bengals know that they aren’t going to be able to do any of that stuff early on and make Palmer throw the ball for 3+ quarters. He will make mistakes.

-Run the football. Seems like a given but Ben is really, really, good on play action. Make it happen. The best way to stretch the field vertically is to get those DB’s and safety’s peaking in the back field. One quick peak and Mike Wallace or Manny Sanders is gone.

-Stay healthy. Somehow, some way, the Steelers have to stay healthy. Take a look at the most recent injury report from the Steelers so far this season:



That is not good. Two starting lineman hurt and Flo with a high ankle sprain. With a team that doesn’t get after the passer very much we need to keep Ben clean and even though we can’t really control injuries we just have to hope that everything goes well for one game this season and players don’t have to miss considerable time.

-On the same front the Bengals are just as banged up, if not more, than the Steelers with 11 players on IR.



I am not saying that we should hurt players, because I never want to see that, but if there is a game to assert ourselves and to be physical then this is it. A shorthanded team that has lost a ton of games in a row you have to make it known that we are still going to play smash mouth football and control the ball and the clock. Nine of those IR guys for the Bengals are on the defensive side so make them be on the field a lot.

Well big game. Lets get after it.

Steelers 24, Bengals 10

Your thoughts? Leave it in the comments.




Hit it.

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