For a little while today it looked like the Bengals would get the best of the Steelers, but Pittsburgh would put together a second half surge to propel them passed Cincinnati by the final score of 42-21.
The Steelers were led today by the dynamic play of Le’Veon Bell and Big Ben on the offensive side of the ball. One the defensive side of the ball, the Steelers were opportunistic taking advantages of Bengal mistakes.
Ike Taylor was burnt at the end of the third quarter and would not be out on the field again. The Steelers would say he left with a Shoulder and Knee injury. It was from that point that Blake would take over and AJ Green was no longer a factor. Troy Polamalu was burnt on a read option play by Andy Dalton in the second quarter where he pulled the ball out of his running backs hand and ran straight down the field for a 20 yard touchdown run.
The Steelers scored 25 points in the fourth quarter to close out the Bengals and it all started with a drive that would lead to a field goal. That was followed by a turnover that turned into a 13 yard touchdown run. After a 2 point conversion the Steelers were up 7 points and had some momentum. The Bengals were not able to convert on a third down on their following possession and was forced to punt. The Steelers would put the game on ice on the first play from scrimmage when Ben would complete a 94 yard touchdown to Martavis Bryant to give them a 2 touchdown advantage.
The Steelers would tack on another touchdown as Bell would score on another 22 yard run. Le’Veon Bell would finish today with 26 carries and 185 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. He would also catch 6 passes for 50 yards. He was a monster. Ben Roethlisberger struggled early, but would sharpen up as the game went on and probably as his hand warmed up. He would finish the day going 25/39 for 350 yards and 3 touchdowns. What we saw today was the good Ben. Something the Steelers will need to see for the next 3 weeks.
Antonio Brown had a big day as he was Ben’s third down guy and made catches when they needed it most. He caught 9 passes for 117 yards. Bryant had a big day catching 4 passes for 109 yards, though 94 came on one pass. That pass and catch was the longest of the season for the Steelers. The Steelers as a whole had 5 plays today of over 20 yards. After struggling for a couple of weeks with the long ball, Ben got that ship righted a bit.
The Steelers will now face the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta next Sunday. The Falcons are terrible and that does not bode well for the Steelers. They play badly against bad teams. Something that just does not sound right coming out of your mouth or when I read it after I just wrote it. Some things in life just don’t make sense.
In other action: The Browns would lose late in the game to the Colts and the Ravens would beat the Dolphins today after going down 10-0 early. That means the Bengals have a half a game lead on both the Steelers and the Ravens after today’s game and the Steelers still have one game with the Bengals…in Pittsburgh. The Steelers, although they are down a half a game, have their destiny in their own hands.