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Steelers vs. Bengals, Week 15: Knee Jerk Reactions to the Steelers’ 27-17 loss to the Bengals

There was little to cheer about as the Steelers fell flat yet again.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Week 15 of the NFL season and the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Cincinnati for a prime time Monday Night matchup against the woeful Bengals. This game should be just what the doctor ordered for the Steelers. In need of a “get right” game, playing the Bengals may be what the Steelers are looking for to get things going on offense again. I do know one thing about most Steelers’ fans, and that is if we do not dominate the Bengals in this game people will be falling off the edge of the cliff they’ve been standing on the past few weeks. I also know some people are going to fall anyway, no matter how this game goes. The Steelers could put up 80 points, run for 300 yards and throw for 400 more, hold the Bengals scoreless and record 17 sacks and there will still be people who say “Eh, still not feeling good about this team. It was nice, but it was the Bengals”. I say win the game first, wrap up the North. Next worry about getting the offense back in sync and win with some style points. No matter how the game goes I am truly worried about only one thing...the Steelers bring out more tears from Cryin’ Bangles Lady and come back to the Burgh with a W.

A simple reminder, a knee jerk reaction is an immediate and unthinking, emotional reaction. It’s basically shooting first and apologizing later (forget that, I apologize for none of my emotion I may not actually be from Pittsburgh, but grew up close enough to be a Yinzer). I can safely say that’s a true definition of yours truly and a good lot of Steelers’ Nation. Here’s my real-time (and possibly a little bit of my son Kyle’s, who turned 15 yesterday) reactions during the Steelers’ effort to continue the unbeaten streak.


Quarter 1

  • Bengals won the toss and deferred to the second half, Steelers receive the kickoff.
  • Steelers throw it deep on first down, James Washington had to help that from being an interception. Ball was way underthrown.
  • On third down Ben throws high to Diontae Johnson and was lucky that ball wasn't picked off. Steelers to punt after a three-and-out, lousy start offensively.
  • Derek Watt goes down injured after making the tackle on the punt return.
  • Thanks to back-to-back tackles for loss by T.J. Watt, the Steelers defense holds the Bengals to a three-and-out.
  • Not much to talk about on that offensive series either as the Steelers send another three and out.
  • On third and two the Bengals were lucky they got rid of the ball quickly because Alex Highsmith was about to have a slobber-knocker.
  • The Steelers get the ball back and fumble the exchange on first down between Pouncy and Ben and the Bengals recover.
  • And on 3rd and goal for the Bengals, Highsmith and Watt combined for the sack. The streak continues.
  • Bengals kick a field goal and take advantage of the Steeler turnover to grab an early 3-0 lead.
  • Anybody want to guess what happened on the Steelers 4th offensive possession? How about another three and out. The Steelers have yet to pick up a first down on offense.
  • After one pass play of 30 yards, the Bengals stall and try a 55-yard field goal but it was wide right. Steelers take over with decent field position.
  • On 3rd and 7th the pass goes to JuJu but it was right on the line of scrimmage, JuJu got blown up and couldn't hold on to the ball. Yet another three and out for the Steelers.
  • Cincinnati challenges the incomplete pass as they recovered the ball after the play. Knowing New York this is going to be a fumble.
  • It is ruled of fumble so the Steelers have their second turnover of the game.
  • End of the first quarter, Steelers 0, Bengals 3.

Quarter 2

  • Bengals driving now have a first and goal on the Steelers 5.
  • Bengals score the touchdown on a 5-yard rush, as Joe Haden whiffed on the tackle. Extra point pending. It's good. Score now Steelers 0, Bengals 10.
  • Third and one the Steelers go to their third straight running play with Benny Snell and he gets stuffed. The Steelers are going to go for it on fourth down.
  • They make the first down, but barely.
  • On second and 15 Benny Snell runs for 12 yards on a half-decent looking run.
  • Ben throws the ball right to a Bengal, this game is getting out of hand quickly. Three turnovers now for the offense. How can the Steelers expect to win like this?
  • On top of the interception and return, Chuks gets nailed for a hit out of bounds.
  • How about another touchdown for the Bengals because the Steelers don't know how to tackle somebody. The Steelers are going to lose to a two win Bengals team in prime time. I don't see how they think they can win the AFC North.
  • The Bengals have turned two of the Steelers turnovers into 14 points. Steelers 0, Bengals 17.
  • The Bengals are constantly waiting for the Steelers short passes, there's no way for the Steelers to complete them. Fourth down, Steelers will punt it back to the Bengals.
  • The defense holds, so at least the Bengals didn't get more points.
  • And Ben gets sacked and fumbles, luckily Big Al was able to fall on the ball.
  • On 3rd and 18 they go to Samuels for 12 yards and like a fool he runs out of bounds.
  • The Steelers look nothing like a playoff team tonight. The Bengals look way more motivated than the Steelers do. At the half Steelers 0, Bengals 17.

Quarter 3

  • Steelers defense holds on the Bengals opening possession to a three-and-out. What is the offense going to do now?
  • Steelers get a long play on a short pass to Claypool and on the very next play Ben hits Diontae Johnson for the touchdown. Steelers 7, Bengals 17.
  • Cam Sutton with a nice play on third down, Steelers hold the Bengals to three and out again. Is it time to get things rolling?
  • Steelers are driving, including a nice run by Benny Snell.
  • Make that two nice runs by Benny Snell.
  • Steelers now faced with a third and goal. Pressure on Ben and he throws it to Johnson right back at the line of scrimmage. Going to be a field goal attempt from Boswell. It's good. Steelers 10, Bengals 17.
  • The defense holds to their third three and out of the second half.
  • On third and one Benny Snell gets the hand off and loses two yards because the offensive line forgot to block. Steelers return the favor of a three and out.
  • End of the third quarter. Steelers 10, Bengals 17.

Quarter 4

  • Bengals are starting to look like they can run the football a little better than I'd like to see them.
  • On third and five the Bengals run a quarterback draw and the Steelers have nobody near him as he picks up nine yards.
  • The Bengals are going to run the ball until the Steelers stop them, and right now the Steelers are not stopping them.
  • Bengals go on the read option and the quarterback keeps it and goes 23 yards for a touchdown. There wasn't a defensive player within five yards of him at any point on that play. Steelers 10 Bengals 24.
  • So much for all the folks at BTSC that said the Bengals couldn't score points on the Steelers. Me included. I predicted they would get 13 and was chastised by my brother because he didn't think the Steelers could give up that many.
  • Roethlisberger threw the ball in between two Cincinnati guys without a Steelers’ player around. It should have been picked, but it was dropped.
  • On third and one just inside the 10-yard line they hand off on a slow developing play to Benny Snell and lose 4 yards.
  • 4th and 4th the Steelers will have to go for it at this point in the game. Steelers get bailed out by a pass interference call.
  • Snell in for the touchdown. The Steelers defense will now have to hold quickly and get the ball back. Steelers 17, Bengals 24.
  • Everybody knows that the Bengals are going to try to run the football, and the Steelers defense is not stopping them.
  • On third and one the Bengals quarterback sneak and pick up the first. The Steelers are going to have to start using their timeouts.
  • The defense held. The Steelers get the ball back with two minutes and 17 seconds left to play and one time out.
  • Two straight incomplete passes. The Steelers could be facing fourth down by the time they hit the two minute warning.
  • Ben throws deep for Chase Claypool, but actually didn't throw it quite far enough. The Steelers will face 4th and 10 coming out of the 2-minute warning.
  • Ben throws way too high for James Washington. The Bengals hold and win this football game. The Steelers offense is held under 20 points for the 4th straight game.
  • My bold prediction here. The Steelers will not win the AFC North. The Cleveland Browns will eventually win the AFC North.
  • All the questions about the Steelers offense are still there. They have done little to nothing to address any of them. I don't see how they will be able to for the rest of the season. They are what they are.
  • Bengals kick a field goal to go up 27 to 17 with 12 seconds to play.
  • The Steelers just take a knee to end the game. Three, two, one, Steelers go from undefeated to really sucking.

Once again, I just fired off what was going through my head at the time. All reactions were in real time. Basically, it is the equivalent of watching the game with me (and Kyle), you just don’t have to go to another room because I am screaming at the television (sometimes Kyle does). Now time to process it, some quick analyzing for the Scho Bro Show, and then put it behind me as we are prepare for a next weeks home finale matchup with the Colts. Make sure you get your voice heard in the comments below.