This one hurts. That's about all there is to say about that. We've been outscored 24-0 in the 4th quarter the last two weeks.
The Bengals win the toss and elect to receive. They take the opening kickoff out across the 40 and break down. Run-run-incomplete pass. Touchback on the punt.
The Steelers come out looking shaky, but after a penalty, Ben finds Hines wide open down the field for a big gain. Willie gets a crease around the corner and busts a huge gain to get the Steelers down to the 20. The Steelers get themselves into a typical 3rd and long, but Ben finds Wallace at the 10 for a first down. Heath gets down to the 1 on 2nd down, and Parker gets stuffed at the goal line. Reed squeezes one inside the upright to get off the schnide.
Cincinnati comes out flat again as Palmer throws 2 incompletions. Punt.
Hines takes a flanker screen for 6, then Parker converts up the middle for the 1st down. Parker comes back with an 11-yarder 2 plays later to move the chains again. Parker grinds out some more, and Ben hits Wallace again to convert on 3rd down. Ben goes play-action on 1st down and eludes some pressure, finding Parker out of the backfield. Parker makes 3 guys miss and splits 2 defenders to scamper into the end zone for the score.
Big Snack comes right up the middle on 2nd and 10 and throws Palmer down as the quarter ends. Bungles had 8 plays for -10 yards in the first quarter.
Ryan Clark almost picks one off on 3rd and long and the Bungles have to punt again.
Ben goes deep to Wallace down the sidelines who has 5 yards on Jonathan Joseph. Wallace reels it in but his momentum carries him out at the 10. Parker gets 4 on first down. Heath gets a dump-down on 2nd down for a few, then gets overthrown by Ben in the back of the end zone. Reed knocks it right down the middle.
Palmer goes to OchoStinko for 2 quick-hitters to pick up the Bungles first 1st down of the game. The Bengals grind it out for a bit, then go back to Stinko with Ike all over him to convert a 3rd down. The Bengals look like they're clicking, but a holding penalty sets them back and the Steelers defense holds.
The Steelers come out with an unbalanced line with Ramon Foster in a tight end position as an extra blocker. The call works out and the running game with FWP at the helm. Parker looks a whole lot better in this game. He's running downhill and not hesitating. After the two-minute warning, Ben hits Hines on a slant on 3rd and 2 that he turns upfield for 17 to get him over the 10,000 yard mark.
Congrats to Hines on being the first Steelers receiver to break 10,000 yards.
Moore picks up 6 on a draw, but Holmes can't get both feet down in bounds on 3rd and 4. With the ball on the 35, the Steelers elect to go for it. Ben gets pressured from Odom and is forced to throw the ball away. Turnover on downs.
Palmer comes out and leads the offense in a no-huddle drill with a minute to play and 3 timeouts. He hits a series of short passes, and works it into field goal range. The Steelers defensive front bats two balls down (Keisel and Harrison), holding the Bungles to 3.
Someone in Seattle gets fired for designing those ugly ugly uniforms.
The Steelers get set back by a pass interference call on Hines for blocking before the ball was caught. On the next play, Ben throws one out for Holmes who either didn't get the hot route or wasn't looking and runs past the ball. Jonathan Joseph gets an easy catch and trot to the end zone. Cincy snaps it over the holder on the extra point.
Logan rips off a great kick return, and takes it all the way to the Cincy 40. Ben goes deep for Sweed running a deep post on 3rd down but Sweed can't hang on in the end zone. Reed barely misses from 52. No idea why we kicked the field goal there on 4th and 4 from the 35, but went for it on 4th and 5 from the 35 at the end of the first half.
The Bengals look poised to get something done, but they throw a quick-out on 3rd and 1 and Willie Gay is all over it to hold Coles for no gain. Punt.
The Steelers look poised to go 3-and-out after Willie Colon gets called for holding, but Ben find Wallace for the first down on 3rd and 12. Ben goes play-action on 2nd down and scampers around before finding Hines for a huge gain to get inside the Bungles 40. Ben finds Holmes for Tone's first catch of the game after dropping a few earlier. Parker catches one out of the backfield to set up 2nd and short. Willie gets the call on the ground and goes around the corner for the first down to get down to the 5. Parker charges up the middle and comes up just short of the goal line. With the Bengals base defense on the field, Ben hurries it up and sneaks it in for the score.
The Bengals come back after a decent return, and get stopped, but fake the punt and pick up 21 on the fake. Benson rips a 9-yard run on first down, but Harrison plows through the backfield for a big stuff to set up 3rd and 3 as the quarter expires.
LeBeau cranks it up and brings the heat, forcing a dump-down. Benson juggles the ball and Willie Gay rocks him. Graham comes out to try a 52-yarder but he hooks it wide left.
Arians comes out with the motif offense, and Wallace snags it on a hot-read quick-slant, but comes up just short. Superman lofts one down to the 15.
The Bengals come out with two hitch patterns down the right side to move the ball out across the 40. Clark gets flagged for pass interference, and the Bengals set up shop in Steelers territory. Harrison brings some heat on 2nd down and pulls down Palmer as he steps up for Silverback's first sack of the season. Palmer hits Coles in the flat to convert the 3rd down. Benson explodes around the corner and takes it in from 23 yards out for the score. Woodley makes a great play on the 2-point conversion to swat the ball away.
Mike Wallace pulls one in on 2nd down to get to 3rd and inches. Ben sneaks it for the first down to keep the drive alive. Parker gets 2 carries, setting up another 3rd and long. The Bengals bring the house and Ben can't escape. Punt.
Cincinnati mixes up runs and passes and works the ball out across the 50. Caldwell pulls one in to set up 2nd and 1 as the clock ticks down to 2:00.
Palmer sneaks for the first down. Ike makes a good play to break up a pass on first down, and Caldwell pulls one in in front of Deshea. The Bengals use their first TO with 1:05 left to set up 3rd down. Palmer goes for Stinko on a fade, but Ike comes up with a huge deflection. Palmer hits Coles on a short curl on 4th down to move the chains. Palmer spikes, then goes for Stinko in the middle, but Ike makes a diving play to break it up. Palmer rolls out on 3rd down and Gay plays strong tight coverage. Palmer steps up out of pressure and hits Brian Leonard out of the backfield who lunges for the first down. Palmer has all day to throw and finds Caldwell across the middle for the TD with 14 seconds to play. Leonard catches one out of the backfield for the 2-point conversion.
Poor special teams coaching and it's lateral-fest on the Kick return. 2 seconds to go.
Ben flings one deep and it falls incomplete. Game over.
Players of the Game:
Offensive Game Ball: Hines Ward
Defensive Game Ball: Ike Taylor
Mr. Yuck Sticker of the Game:
Only rushing 4 on the Bengals entire last drive
LeBeau is known for bringing pressure. Palmer was feeling the heat much of the game. Then when it counts, with the Steelers down by 5, LeBeau brings 4 for the entire last drive of the Bengals. With plenty of time, Palmer was able to pick the Steelers apart and work down the field. Even on 4th and 10, they still didn't bring pressure. If you watched the Jets against the Patriots, they were always bringing pressure. No idea why the Steelers defense suddenly looks like a neutered version of the 2008 edition, but someone needs to light a fire under their ass.
- This was a game we should have won, no doubt about it. The Steelers lost this game more than the Bengals won this game.
- What happened to our defense? Where have the blitzes gone?
- Motif offense on our last real possession killed us.
- Good day for Hines going over 10,000 yards, but it's bittersweet.
- Parker looked good, but we still have no idea why they didn't at least spell him with Mendenhall to give him a rest.
- Holmes had another poor game. That pick-6 was on him.
- 14 points in the 4th quarter this week, and 10 last week. Where has the 4th quarter defense gone?
- We look a lot more like the 2006 Steelers than the 2008 Steelers.
- 1-2 and 0-1 in the division put us in a deep hole. It's going to be tough to climb out of this one.
- We're not planning golf trips for January yet, but this one hurts.
- Why kick the field goal in the 3rd quarter but go for it in the 2nd? That gave the Bengals field position that set up their first score. Punt that shit and pin them deep.
- The Steelers had the ball inside the Cincy 10 3 times in the first half. They scored 13 points.
- We need to get more pressure on the quarterback. Period.