A punishing running game and, for the most part, a smart effective passing attack were once again the winning formula for the Steelers, who may have ended the Bengals season for the third year in a row, this time in Week 8 instead of the final game of the year.
When the Bengals managed to get more than 10 players on the field, they couldn't find a way to slow the Steelers offense. Hines had his first big game of the season, catching two TDs, the first of which he faked the Bungles DB out of his jock with a pretty simple juke to the inside. Thus is the overall crappiness of genius Marvin Lewis' stout defensive squad.
Despite a largely impressive effort, we saw the reappearance of Bad Ben for one pass in the third quarter, in which scrambling right and finding no one open forced a pass that was picked by Deltha O'Neal deep in Bengals territory with the Steelers up by two scores. It enabling the Bungles to make the game competitive, rather than dropping down 24-6.
Even more disturbing was the inability of the Steelers to get any pressure on Carson Palmer, who not only not sacked by seldom hit. The red zone defense came up big, but the Bengals had several opportunities for big plays, with Chad Johnson having a touchdown pass squeak through his fingertips while double covered by Anthony Smith and Ike Taylor.
Chad also took a face plant into the turf following an incompletion, after which he did his new sensational dance that involved staggering to the sidelines and being attended to by trainers. Not sure if I like it as much as the one with the pylon being used as a golf club.
Over the next two weeks, the Steelers have an opportunity to create consider distance in their lead of the AFC North, with the Ravens and the Browns visiting Heinz for their respective beatings. Yes Baltimore, Cleveland is presently second in the division, by dint of tiebreaker. Because you lost to them. Really.