Steelers-Bengals Recap: The Big O


None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. The big goose egg. No, not the approximate nutritional content of a bag of Cinnamon Sun Chips, the snack fat people eat to pretend they’re eating healthy, and my latest game day food of choice. I’m talking about the number of sacks the Steelers much maligned offensive line surrendered to Cincinnati this Sunday.

Granted, nobody was about to confuse the Bungles with the New York Sack Exchange or Blitzburgh when it comes to rushing the quarterback. They were on the lower end of average in the NFL in that category. However, the past three weeks we played teams dwelling in the cellar of those standings, yet still managed to offer them Ben Roethlisberger on a silver platter time and time again. Not this week, though. Cincinnati arrived with 18 sacks as a team and guess how many they’re leaving with? 18 baby! Good bye. Thanks for coming. See you next year.

Overall, I’d have to say last night’s game on the soggy tundra of Heinz Field was, top to bottom, the best game the Steelers have played all year. It couldn’t have come at a better time, as barring a miracle, next week we take on the Greatest Team In The History of the Universe (from now on referred to as GTITHOTU). You might also know them as the undefeated New England Patriots.

Sure there were a few worrisome spots. The Injury of Mysterious Origin™ to Najeh Davenport severely cripples us at running back. As John Madden pointed out, something strange is afoot regarding his foot because he wasn’t even listed on Friday’s final injury report. And Willie “Like Buttah” Parker had a terrible time holding on to the football, losing two out of three fumbles, although luckily the one that got returned for a touchdown was the one they overturned. Sure the ball was slick but nobody else had that much trouble so either Willie needs a new pair of gloves or needs to learn the fine art of Stick’um. But why dwell on the negatives when there were so many positives?

WR Hines Ward had a career day, catching 11 balls for around 100 yards and two scores to surpass John Stallworth as #1 on the Steelers all-time receiving TD list. He made the big catches in traffic all day long. Big Ben, managing to stay upright and not running for his life every third play, made the throws he needed to make in less than ideal conditions and scored a big touchdown to jump start the offense. And for the first time this season, our special teams actually played quite well. William Gay and Lawrence Timmons had some nice open field tackles on coverage which give me hope that aspect of our team is finally on the mend.

Our defense turned in another stellar effort. The line and linebackers hurried and harassed Carson Palmer all day long. Despite the injury to Troy Polamalu, the secondary did an outstanding job covering Cincinnati’s Big Two + Chris Henry. CB Ike Taylor was especially wet blanket-esque, totally stifling Ocho Cinco for most of the game. If our secondary can bring their A-game next week, things could get very interesting in Foxboro.