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Cincinnati Pushes Pittsburgh Around In Their Own House - Vent Your Frustration Open Thread

Some preliminary thoughts from me about the Pittsburgh Steelers 18-12 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. If you didn't believe in the Bengals before this one - which I know many Steelers fans can't do based on irrelevant events in the past -  you should be by now. That's a very good defense first of all. They also have a bruising running game, a quarterback who doesn't turn the ball over much and money kicker. Nice formula for success. And just to remind you, the past means nothing. Rosters change, circumstances change. Heck, even individuals change. Chris Henry and Cedric Benson come to mind. Both have received effusive and consistent praise for the adjustments they've both made with their attitudes and work ethics. Anyway, the Bengals might not be better suited to make a deep run in the playoffs than the Steelers, but they match up well against Pittsburgh and are very much a legitimate ball club in all three phases of the game. Congrats to them and their long-suffering fans on the win. 

  • That's 7 touchdowns this year allowed by the special teams or the offense. I've said it many times before - I miss Anthony Madison. One player doesn't make or break a unit, but I never understood why we wouldn't keep him when he was only on the books for roughly $1 million this year. Time for Coach Tomlin to 'get back in the lab' and try something else to fix the coverage units.  By the way, Jeff Reed was pathetic in his attempt to bring down or even just slow down Bernard Scott
  • Kudos to the Steelers defense for playing fairly well. They limited the Bengals to 0 offensive touchdowns and just 218 yards of total offense. That said, the Steelers defense allowed some inopportune yards and first downs late in the game when they needed to help out the offense. The defense also failed to get to Carson Palmer frequently enough. 
  • I know it's not a popular sentiment, but I really think Stefan Logan has had more than enough opportunities to prove himself. He's been okay, even pretty good. But we keep seeing other team's returners bust long returns against us while we've failed to benefit from even one long kickoff return ourself. I know he's been pretty good as a gunner, but my vote would be to go pick up Roy Lewis from Seattle's practice squad. With Troy Polamalu injured again (not sure to what extent), an extra body in the secondary would be useful. Meanwhile, perhaps it's time to put James Harrison or Brett Keisel back on coverage units and to let Mike Wallace return kicks. He did no worse than Logan in his lone attempt and I'm personally 100% convinced that he has better vision and instincts than does Logan. 
  • Big Ben was terrible today. More on that later but I will just say this - big deal. It happens in this league. Ben's been tremendous for just about the entire year. Even the greats have bad games. Unfortunately for us, it happened to come at home against a divisional opponent that had the leg up on us already by virtue of their win earlier in the season.
  • Good Bruce Arians. Bad Bruce Arians. From week to week, you never quite know what you're going to get out of the Steelers offensive coordinator. I thought he was outstanding last week; not so much this week. More on this topic later as well.
  • Please, please, please let Troy Polamalu be okay! All 3 losses this year have come with him on the sidelines. 
  • Brett Keisel is playing incredibly. He was involved in sooo many plays once again. Very impressive. 
  • This loss didn't come at the absolute worst time if you're in the market for a little positive spin. I'll guarantee one thing - the Steelers will be angry and focused the next two weeks and can right back on track with a road victory at Kansas City next week. There almost always are road bumps along the way during the course of a 16 game NFL season. We stumbled a bit early on, ironed some kinks out during a 5 game winning streak and have now stumbled again. There will probably be one or two more along the way so buckle up and as Coach Tomlin might say, 'don't ride the emotional roller coaster.'
  • I thought Santonio Holmes played another great game, but his drop in the endzone was super costly. Heath Miller also dropped two critical passes in the 2nd half. The miss in the 4th quarter was a tough catch for sure, but it was one that we're accustomed to #83 making. When it rains, it pours I guess. 
  • Nice game from William Gay - probably his best as a Steeler. I'd like to take a look at the replay, but I do think though that Gay was one of the primary culprits on that kickoff return. Still, solid performance from him at cornerback. 
  • Lawrence Timmons needs to be better than he was today. He's coming back from injury and wasn't awful by any means. But he was a step slow on a couple of well designed plays.
  • Nice game for Jeff Reed kicking. Pathetic once more chipping in when we needed him to make a tackle, but still solid to see him get back in a groove kicking the ball. We'll need him moving forward.
  • Big step back for the offensive line today. Partly a product of us getting outcoached, and partly a product of Ben having his worst day in quite some time in terms of decision making. Oh well. Let's see how they hold up the next two weeks, particularly against Baltimore two Sundays from now.
  • I'd like to know the record of teams that played on Monday Night Football the previous week. Denver got out-muscled today by the lowly Redskins; Pittsburgh got pushed around a bit too. 
  • Watch the highlight video we put together from last week's win against the Broncos. It will make you smile and hopefully help you put this clunker out your memory for even just a few minutes. More from me soon.