Weren't we just here? If it felt like we just played the Bengals, it's because we just did. But where that was closer than anyone would like to admit, this one was a certifiable beatdown. Cincy had a chance to go up early but repeatedly took points off the board with silly penalties. An early 7-0 lead turned to 3-0 and then a blocked FG after Cincy decided they didn't really want that early lead.
Once the Bengals completed the first-drive meltdown, the Steelers took advantage and never let Cincy get that close the rest of the way. The D was able to get to an Andy Dalton that was pressured with coming back from tons of points, which is something no team has really been able to do to this point. The rookie has had a lot of time in the pocket which is a godsend for a young QB. But the Steelers remembered that they had incredible linebackers and just went for it. It paid off.
Ben: Only 175 yards on 15 of 23 passing. 2 TDs and no picks. Oh and he didn't play the last 11 minutes or so. No real damage to his stats or health, so we'll see what kind of effect he'll have on only like a minute's rest before the Browns game. I've like seeing Ben's fluctuation in stats...he's had a 50 attempt game/win and 3 consecutive 300+ yard games and yet can still reel off 2 scores on just 15 completions and limited work. 4 of 5 motorcycle helmets. Efficient game.
Mike and Hines: The dynamic duo before guys like Antonio Brown and Manny Sanders emerged. Mike traded yards for TDs and scored twice while Hines went over the 12,000 yard mark for his career. Respect. 4 of 5 motorcycle helmets.
Defense: If your defensive squad is gonna struggle to get sacks and turnovers, the best case scenario is that the struggles happen early in the season. Have enough time to work out the kinks. And with the talent in Black and Gold, this is the time to make things happen. Take the ball back. Hit the QB. Turnovers were plentiful last week, and Ike's pick and Manny's special teams fumble recovery continued the trend. Plus 3 sacks on Dalton may have been the most the young-yet-mostly-unsacked QB has taken in a game this year. 5 of 5 motorcycle helmets. If you're gonna give up a TD, make sure that's the only thing you give up.
Oh, and Ziggy. Via Ape:
And then via Pat:
"Ladies and gentleman, Ziggy Hood's inspiration:"
Pee Wee Herman makes everything better, even shady theater antics.
Kells: Now 3-0 on the season. This Shut Up is dedicated to Steelers fans who freaked out at 2-2 and also to those who still can't get behind Mendy.
5 of 5 motorcycle helmets. Statement game.
And thanks to Justin for this:
"I know this is normally done by Pensblog but I submit the first ever PSAMP stunned pic of the day"
Oh now that is some tasty stunned.
Next game is at home against the Browns on Thursday. We'll see about a Friday morning recap after such a late weekday game. Go Steelers.
(thanks to Doug for the banner pic)