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Steelers-Bengals Recap

The  Steelers play a slop-filled 1st half against the Bengals but manage to pull away in the end, 24-17 on the road.

The Good

– Watching the Steelers offense mix it up well for a good bit of the game. Moving up and down the field and amassing more than 400 yards of offense. Haley called a really good game for the most part.

– Antonio Brown. One of the best WR’s in the game today. Watching him make a seemingly impossible cut and run after a catch and get an additional 10 yards was a thing of beauty. It almost reminded me of a Walter Payton run. Brown is just a fun player to watch, incredible in the open field.

– Lamar Woodley actually did something, picking off Dalton after a weird deflection off a Bengals helmet on a play where Dalton tried to seemingly pump fake but lost control of the ball.

– Watching Keenan Lewis play a terrific game at CB. Where has this been all year?? His biggest play was arguably a deflected pass that would’ve been almost a sure TD in the 3rd quarter. Not sure what Lewis was doing back there (the WR wasn’t his man on the play) but thank goodness he was there.

– Watching Jonathan Dwyer run for over 100 yards and bringing back memories of Jerome Bettis. He played a great game running the ball repeatedly up the middle in the 2nd half.

– The O-line, injuries and all, had a really commendable game. A couple gaffes like Colon and Mike Adams getting manhandled on some pass plays but overall very solid in run blocking and decent in the pass protection.

– Dick Lebeau called his best game of the year outside of the first drive. Took away AJ Green and forced Dalton to look to the other WR’s, Keenan Lewis responded in pass coverage. D-line and LB’s got some decent pressure at times.

The Bad

– Ben going into “oblivious mode” and fumbling after running up into the O-line and cocking the ball 2 inches from 300 pound+ linemen. Ben had an overall solid game (pretty good numbers) but made a number of mistakes (like throwing into triple coverage resulting in an INT) and dumb decisions like all the deep low percentage passes on 3rd and shorts that ended in stalled drives.

– Watching a ball go right through Ike Taylor’s hands for a Bengals TD on the first play after Ben’s fumble.

– 1st and 20 and a handoff? Come on, man.

– Watching Wallace continue to play himself out of a contract. He seemingly had about 3 or 4 drops. I don’t blame him for the dropped TD pass since it was deflected at the last second. That would’ve been a very tough catch but he played a very poor game overall.

– Watching Wallace run like a complete wussy on a 3rd down slant ending in a 4th and 1 (and punt) after Wallace falls to the ground and crumples like a piece of paper a yard short of the 1st down marker. Good open field runner Wallace is certainly not.

– Watching the ST coverage in the 2nd half, awful. When you combine that with all the penalties called – really awful. Great move firing that ST coach, Tomlin.

– The sloppy play and mistakes and dumb decisions by the team and coaches in the 1st half. Another really underwhelming performance by Tomlin in the 1st half.

– Watching this offense have so many opportunities to get a 2 score lead in the 2nd half and failing. The Steelers outgained the Bengals by over 200 yards and yet only won by 7. Typical Steelers game. It’s a win which is great but it’s an extremely risky way to play and win a game, especially when you play against a more potent offense. This offense is so close to being legitimately great but it needs to finish more drives, Ben needs to be smarter and Haley needs to stop having that one or two dumb plays each drive that seems to occur a good bit.

– Baron Batch is now on the shit list after the dropped pass. I think the kid still has potential, let’s see how he plays the rest of the year. Hopefully Tomlin doesn’t pull a Limas Sweed and sit him in the doghouse the rest of the season.

– Watching the Steelers run defense get gashed on the Bengals first drive which lead to a TD. It’s official – Ziggy Hood is not very good against the run. He’s not a very good pass rusher, either, not sure what he excels at but when I find out I’ll let you know.

Mixed Bag

– Trick plays – Handing off to Mike “chicken legs” Wallace after he’s in motion is just dumb, especially considering how rigid a runner he is and how fast he goes down after contact. The pass to Batch was a thing of beauty and obviously fooled the Bengals.

The Weird

– Don’t forget, returners – Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth have decreed there needs to be an “extended arm”  on all fair catches on punts or NO penalty if you are hit at the knees!!!

Overall, great feeling after the crappy loss to the Titans. Team still has a Looooonnnngggg way to go, especially in terms of mistakes and coaching preparation.  

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