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Chill out or freak out: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals edition

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The Steelers won against the Bengals, an AFC North division rival. Can fans relax, or should we be freaking out about something?

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers kept their playoff hopes alive by beating the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati. In the lead throughout the game, the Steelers won by a comfortable margin (33-20). The tables were turned this week as the Steelers managed to stay healthy and the Bengals suffered enough injuries to make up for their good health during the previous weeks. Quarterback Andy Dalton left the game with a thumb injury-- and could miss the rest of the season. Tight end Tyler Eifert was sidelined with a concussion, while Vontaze Burfict was in and out of the game with a neck injury.

What was there to freak out about on the Steelers side of the ball? Let's take a look.

Pass Defense-- Freak Out

The Steelers made A.J. McCarron look like a Pro Bowler. They have done the same magic trick on Johnny Manziel and other marginally competent quarterbacks throughout the season. McCarron should not be able to come in off of the bench and throw for 280 yards. Tyler Eifert ended up leaving the game, otherwise the Steelers' inability to defend against tight ends could have led to even more yardage for McCarron.

Offensive Line-- Chill Out

Position coach Mike Munchak continues to work wonders with the offensive line. Against the Bengals, Alejandro Villanueva was sidelined briefly with an injury, and backup Chris Hubbard was able to fill in just fine. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sacked twice, and only one of those sacks was due to an offensive line error (the other sack was hard to avoid since he held on to the ball for so long.)

Officiating-- Red Hot Molten Lava Freak Out

Once again, Sunday football was a display of outrageously poor officiating. Against the Bengals, the Steelers incurred five penalties for 82 yards. Meanwhile, at least one blatant instance of pass interference was not called against the Bengals. Likewise, William Gay was penalized for some spectacular celebrating, while A.J. Green did not get a penalty for punting the ball into the stands as part of his celebration. Refs also called a low hit against Antonio Brown, but ignored one that Burfict inflicted on Roethlisberger.

Other teams were equally frustrated with the officiating during their games. Shoddy officiating is a league-wide problem and makes the game less enjoyable to watch.