It was looming ahead of them: a road matchup with the 0-6 Bengals. The trap was set but the cats from Ohio placed it in plain sight.
Coming off a bye week amid speculations of rust and worries of falling for a trap, the Steelers roll over the Bengals 38-10 and head home to regroup for a tough four game stretch. This game had a little something for every Steeler fan: crushing blows, outstanding defense, resurgent ground game and an upright QB.
Hines Ward showed little concern for receiving another fine from Commissioner Goodell as he knocked Bengals rookie linebacker Keith Rivers on his arse and out of the game. We’d find later that Rivers is finished for the season with a broken jaw. Obviously, getting blocked down field by a wide receiver was something Rivers never considered while playing in the PAC 10 for USC. Brandon Johnson, the replacement for Rivers, thought it was a clean hit, “It’s part of the game. It was a good block. If I was in Hines Ward’s shoes, I probably would have taken the same shot. You can’t really blame him.”
Lamar Woodley and James Harrison continued their onslaught of opposing quarterbacks and possibly the single season sack record. Backup QB Fitzpatrick was dropped four times by the duo and a humbling eight times in total by the linebacking corps. Second year man Lawrence Timmons had two while Captain James Farrior and rookie Bruce Davis chipped in with one apiece. The defense as a whole was impressive in allowing a mere ten points and 212 yards on the day.
Former third-down-back and current starter Mewelde Moore continued his impressive play gaining 120 on the ground on twenty carries with two touchdowns. He added another TD and fourteen yards on five receptions. Moore is averaging an astounding five yards per carry. Can you say “running back controversididity?” Me either. But maybe we should practice.
Meanwhile, Polamalu made a case against his own comments from earlier in the week, that the NFL is becoming a pansy game. He knocked himself out of the game tackling (read: launching self missile-like into) running back Cedric Benson. Hopefully, that madman will be well and ready to go next Sunday afternoon against the Giants. It is concerning though since he was listed with a head injury and has a history of concussions. Those bad boys tend to add up over time. Get well soon, Troy.
The most amazing statistic of the day is a big, fat zero. As in, “How many times did Roethlisberger get sacked this time?” Obviously, the backup offensive linemen are doing a fine job. And perhaps the big guy is getting rid of the ball a little faster. Could it be a better offensive game plan by often cursed Bruce Arians? Heck, it’s probably a little of each.
Whatever the reason for Big Ben’s uprightitude, it better continue in the coming weeks. It would be a shame to see the Steelers sidestep the trap only to trip into schedule hell.