The good, the bad and the ugly of Steelers win over Bengals without Matt Canada

  • Offense improved without Matt Canada
  • Defense not squeezing opportunities
  • Diontae Johnson's first quarter was tough to watch

Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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The Bad: Defense not squeezing opportunities

The defense for the Steelers was top-notch. The Bengals didn't top 200 yards until two explosive plays on Cincinnati's final drive. The Bengals only scored 10 points, which is still a low-point total in today's NFL.

While the Steelers did manage to get one interception on Browning, there were at least two other situations, maybe even three, in which the Steelers' defense could have caused even more problems.

The first was TJ Watt's first sack, which resulted in a fumble. Not to be too overly critical, but there wasn't a Steeler in sight to pick that one up. "Maybe a third" was the clause used in the setup here. Can't have them all, and all of that.

The other two are tough, especially seeing as the Steelers' defensive backfield is usually quite opportunistic at tip-drill interceptions. Failing to capitalize led to points for Cincinnati on one occasion.

Mykal Walker tipped a pass up into the middle of the defense and somehow Ja'Marr Chase was the one to come up with the pass, picking up 31 yards. The Bengals later scored on the drive.

The Steelers more often than not are usually the ones in position to take these passes away, so it was even more strange when it happened again in the third quarter. Luckily, this drive ended with a Trenton Thompson interception.

Chase finished the game with four catches for 81 yards, but two of his catches went for 56 yards on these two plays.

To be clear, this isn't something to be overly alarmed about, it's more strange than bad. But capitalizing in these situations can often be the difference in the ballgame. There are seven points in this game Cincinnati doesn't have if Chase doesn't come up with the tipped pass. The Steelers create plenty of turnovers, but more is always better, especially when points are still at a premium on offense.