Admit it, you were scared

Dale Lolley was in Cincinnati and offers up these insights after the Steelers' 27-21 win:

CINCINNATI – Admit it, you had visions of the Pittsburgh Steelers' fourth quarter collapse here in 2009 Monday night.

It's OK. The Cincinnati Bengals probably did as well before the Steelers snatched it away from them at the end.

But there was one big difference between Monday night's 27-21 win and any of the Steelers' fourth quarter collapses of 2009 was that defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau blitzed Carson Palmer throughout the final drive.

"I think we blitzed on every play," said linebacker James Farrior. "It was great."

In previous years – and heck, even two weeks ago at New Orleans – the Steelers would often bring pressure throughout the game and then, suddenly, in the fourth quarter with the game on the line, start rushing three or four and dropping everyone else into coverage.

Not on this night at Paul Brown Stadium.

Pittsburgh continually brought the house against Palmer. And while Palmer made some plays, he didn't make enough. James Harrison made sure of that.

© Even when the Steelers were ahead 27-7 on the first play of the fourth quarter, you knew the Bengals would come up with something to make the game closer than it actually was.

That's just been the history of the Steelers' series with Cincinnati.

While the Steelers will often blow the Browns out, the Bengals always seem to make Pittsburgh scratch and claw.

© After watching Chad Ochocinco sleepwalk his way through Monday night's game, I'm convinced he should change his name to Ochozilcho - as in no catches.

His running mate, Terrell Owens was a problem, catching 10 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns. But Ochozilcho was shut out by the Steelers, despite being targeted seven times, until making a 15-yard catch with 50 seconds remaining.

© What in the world was Ben Roethlisberger thinking on his interception with 10:14 left in the game?

It was second-and-seven at the 35 and he had just scrambled for 12 yards two plays prior to throwing the interception. The Bengals, who have seven sacks in eight games, were rushing Roethlisberger from the outside and leaving the middle of the field wide open.

He could have easily run for at least five yards or more in that situation but instead tried to thread a ball into Heath Miller that was intercepted.

I know, it's Bruce Arians' fault.

© That interception, an unsportsmanlike penalty on Flozell Adams, roughing the passer penalty on Casey Hampton and pass interference penalty on Ike Taylor, were all the Bengals needed to get right back into the game with a 1-yard touchdown run by Cedric Benson.

In fact, because of the penalties, that was essentially a two-play, 1-yard touchdown drive.

© Had the Steelers had any more injuries to offensive linemen, Mike Tomlin was warming up Matt Spaeth to play offensive tackle.

I asked Maurkice Pouncey about that after the game and with a straight face, he said that would be OK because Spaeth is a "great blocker."

I guess if the choice is playing Spaeth at tackle or going with four offensive linemen, Spaeth would be the choice – barely.

© That was quite a game of cat and mouse in the first half between Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski and Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

The Bengals went no-huddle throughout the first half in an attempt to keep the Steelers' nickel package on the field and then run the ball against it.

LeBeau countered by keeping Casey Hampton on the field in the nickel.

After hurting the Steelers with that attack early in the game, Pittsburgh pretty much shut it down.

© That was another tough night for third corner William Gay.

The Bengals seemed to be moving players around quite a bit trying to get them matched up on Gay. Or maybe it was Palmer looking for whoever Gay was supposed to be covering.

It's hard to believe that Keenan Lewis wouldn't be an upgrade there.

(Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.)


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