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Steelers Versus Bengals – Second Half Notes And Observations – Week 15

By Matthew Marczi

  • Bad overpursuit by Terence Garvin on the opening kickoff of the second half. Allowed the runner about a dozen extra yards.
  • The Bengals were beating themselves down with penalties all night. Andrew Whitworth, out of position at guard, was flagged twice.
  • Nice job by Ryan Clark of allowing Jermaine Gresham to bounce right off him for extra yards. His ineptitude allowed Troy Polamalu to catch up and strip the ball out. That’s teamwork.
  • And there goes Ben Roethlisberger’s streak of passes thrown without an interception—the longest such streak in franchise history by a good margin now.
  • You’ve got to feel good about what you saw out of Al Woods this game, somewhat of a validation of what we saw out of him during the preseason. I have a hard time imagining the Steelers don’t sign him back, maybe on a two-year deal. The defensive line may very well just swap Brett Keisel for Brian Arnfelt and Nick Williams next season unless they draft somebody.
  • Yet another opportunity at the goal line resulting in settling for a field goal. This game could have easily been a blowout—38-20 at least.
  • And yet another strong return, out to the 37. Sometimes the kickoff coverage unit is great, other times they suffer mightily (the Vikings game). The inconsistency is maddening.
  • And a tipped ball by Woods. He could be the next Travis Kirschke or Nick Eason. Or perhaps even better.
  • Clark’s coverage of Tyler Eifert on his fourth down touchdown wasn’t exactly awe-inspiring.
  • The Steelers threatened to go three-and-out on their ensuing drive, which would have really given the Bengals even more momentum. Instead, they converted on third down and then proceeded to go backwards, which the drive ending in a false start and a sack.
  • The Bengals moved down the field with worrying ease on the subsequent drive, but Jarvis Jones’ batted pass on the two-point conversion attempt seemed to suck some life out of the Bengals by keeping it a two-possession game.
  • Lawrence Timmons definitely had one of his better games of the season, playing really solid against the run. He really has been up and down throughout the year. He needs to be more consistent.
  • Will Allen certainly blew his assignment on the touchdown pass, leaving Marvin Jones wide open in the corner of the end zone. Once again on fourth down.
  • The Steelers almost went three-and-out once again, if not for a superior effort by Emmanuel Sanders to get the first down on third down.
  • Still, on yet another drive they were forced to punt after just three more plays. It did shave some more time off the clock, but you’d like to see a better close-out performance from your offense in that situation.
  • Eifert really got the better of the safeties in the fourth quarter, but Clark and Allen.
  • Just call Jason Worilds the closer. He hurried Andy Dalton or flushed him out of the pocket on first, second, and third down on the Bengals’ final drive. Polamalu had deep coverage on A.J. Green on fourth down on a play that didn’t really have a great chance of succeeding.
  • The Steelers go for it on fourth and one with time almost up to seal the victory, giving it to Jonathan Dwyer, who gets it.
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