The Steelers made things difficult for themselves with needless penalties in the first half, making a dominant performance look like one that could be susceptible to a strong second half performance by the Bengals. Nevertheless, Pittsburgh came out committed to the run in the second half and ran away with the game in the second half.
Mewelde Moore has again proven to be the best off-season pick-up for the Steelers, while the line was shockingly adequate in warding off the Bengals' blitzes. Once Bruce Arians jettisoned the strategy of empty set passes on nearly every down in the first half, the Steelers got things going in the second half.
It would be nice to see the corners play less than 10 yards off each receiver, which enabled the Bengals to move the ball on the drives that they were able to put together a semblane of rhythm. Even with the adjustments made by Cincy, the defense was able to create enough disruption to to undo Ryan Fitzpatrick's attempts to closing the gap after the Steelers' initial scoring drive in the second half. James Harrison, in particular, was a hazard in the backfield, collecting two sacks to place him at the lead amond all defenders in the league.
The takeaway that the Steelers will presumably take away from this game is not to damamge themselves when they have opportunites to put away opponents, like they did with a number of penalties in the first half against the Bengals. Still, with a number of crucial starters out for this game, and even Byron Leftwich getting a TD pass, it's difficult to overlook what the Steelers are able to do when they're rolling.