The Terrible Podcast – Talking Steelers Bengals Game Recap, Bell Injury, Clock Management & More


Season 6, Episode 43 of The Terrible Podcast is now up and in this show, David Todd and I get right to recapping the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-10 loss at home Sunday to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Being as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn’t play well in his first game back from his sprained left MCL, David and I revisit the narrative that we talked about prior to the game surrounding that. We go over Roethlisberger’s interceptions on Sunday and whether or not the Steelers wide receivers didn’t play overly well against the Bengals.

The Steelers appear to have lost running back Le’Veon Bell for the remainder of the season due to a right MCL injury that he suffered on Sunday, so David and I make sure to address the significance of that moving forward.

As you would expect, David and I also address the decision made by head coach Mike Tomlin late in Sunday’s game to not use the team’s first timeout ahead of the two-minute warning. That debate winds up being lengthy as you would imagine.

We discuss other coaching decisions made in the game as well as the play of several individual players on both sides of the football.

With the Steelers looking like they have no shot to win the AFC North in 2015, we start looking ahead to the possibility of them getting one of the two Wild Card spots and that includes us taking a look at the teams they are likely to be battling over the course of the last 9 weeks of the season in addition to the schedules of each.

As always, several other smaller talking points are mixed in throughout the show that are not highlighted here in this post.

Thanks for listening and don’t forget to call or email with questions or comments and please pass us along to your friends!

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Direct download link: The Terrible Podcast – Talking Steelers Bengals Game Recap, Bell Injury, Clock Management & More

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Please sit back and enjoy Episode 43 of Season 6 now of The Terrible Podcast.


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  • PittsburghSports

    They could’ve stopped the clock at 2:38. Timeout. Next run took 5 secs. 2:33. Timeout. Next run took 4 secs. 2:29. Timeout. FG took 4 secs. 2:25. KO ran no time off the clock. We would’ve had 2:25 on the clock, no timeouts, but the 2 min warning. Instead we started at 1:47. That’s a difference of 38 secs completely wasted for no reason other than not understanding proper clock management. When the Steelers finally called that last timeout, it was after a 12 yard gain. It probably saved 10 secs. So, quick math, Tomlin blew about 28 secs all things considered. It’s not what lost us the game, but it would’ve helped, and for Tomlin to not understand or admit it was an error is idiotic.

    I’ll also quote another on here that make a couple good points about the need to use your timeouts when your on defense…

    ND_Steel • a day ago
    “Two reasons you take at least two timeouts on the front side of the 2 min warning. 1) you make their offense one-dimensional. If they attempt to pass they risk the incompletion, not to mention the myriad of ways the clock could stop, ie a penalty. 2) You can control the speed of the play on offense”

    …The 2nd one is really the main reason you use the timeouts. You have MORE CONTROL of the clock when you’re on offense. It’s so simple. Even my mom called me up after the game and was wondering why Tomlin didn’t call a timeout. My mom!

  • Phil Brenneman II

    100% behind David Todd on the clock and not going for the FG with Boswell. I am not surprised by I can’t stop being irritated that Tomlin just doesn’t seem to get it. And people still want to find whatever way they can to defend him for this stuff.

  • PittsburghSports

    I’d also like to add that in keeping with the scenario of every play being the same with the same outcome, and just the time changing, if we got the ball back at 2:25, and Ben was still sacked on the first play, the clock would’ve most likely drained and stopped at the 2 min warning. In reality the Steelers got the next play off, after the sack, at 1:23. That’s still a difference of 37 secs.

  • Chad Sanborn

    This podcast is the best! I wish you would do 90mins though. So much more to talk about. Can we talk about play selection more? The best use of personnel? These are the things that this offense is missing and why it struggles

  • cencalsteeler

    I really struggle understanding Tomlins philosophy at times. Boswell is automatic so far, and punting away a 53 yard field goal attempt is conservative play call. He seems to put the game in the hands of the D, but it also creates opportunities for the other teams (Ravens game for example) offenses and keeps them in the game. Do you realize that every announcer and opponent claims that when they play the Steelers it usually comes down to the last possesion? With Tomlins style, he keeps other teams in games with his playcalling, whether it’s clock management, punting at the wrong times, or going for it on 4th downs.

  • tiredofallthis

    The fact is that the Steelers could have called timeouts after first and second down, then let the clock run to the two minute warning. They would have ended up with the ball back with 10 seconds more than they did and would still have had the one timeout. So no matter how you look at it, it was terrible clock managment. I would have called all three timeouts because that is what you have to do there.

  • letownia

    38 seconds AND a 2 minute warning VS 1 timeout… seriously Tomlin,

  • PittsburghSports

    Even if they did that, the clock would have been at 2:29 on 4th down. Instead of letting it run down to the 2 min warning, I think you use that 3rd time out there too, because 29 secs is a lot of time. Longest I would let the clock roll, so I could keep a timeout, is about 20-25 secs.

  • tiredofallthis

    I couldn’t agree more. The best move was to take all three timeouts before the two minute warning, thereby trading one timeout for 38 seconds and the two minute warning. My point was that Tomlin could still have kept one timeout and an additional 10 seconds by taking two timeouts before the two minute warning, so no matter how you slice it Tomlin’s decision to allow the Bengals to run off 38 seconds down to the two minute warning was the worst possible clock managment.

  • Buccos9

    I agree with David Todd too. Dale Lolley suported Tomlin’s decision on the ground that the Steelers still had time for one throw from the 16 yard line. That’s ridiculous. David correctly suggested that a bad policy or decision that leads to a barely acceptable result is still bad policy and reduces the likelihood of success. He is correct. Part of the equation that Tomlin and Lolley do not acknowledge is that Ben takes FOREVER to move the ball in the “two minute” offence. He usually wastes an incredible amount of time getting the next play off, even though he was better at it against the Bengals. If your two-minute offence is five yard passes over and over up the middle, you can’t fritter away 30 seconds or more by poor clock management. Ben needs as much time as you can give him, and the coach did not put him in the best position to succeed.

  • Buccos9

    Regarding Mitchell, Keith Butler needs to confront him when he comes off the field. Several years back we had a young safety who never made it past his first contract – couldn’t keep the ball in front of him, Tomlin said. After the guy made a rare interception, he started doing the Deon Sanders showboat routine. When he came to the sideline, Lebeau jerked him aside by the jersey and tore a strip off him, telling him we don’t do that here. Guys like Mitchell need to be read the riot act.

  • francesco

    Totally agree on all points. Tomlin needs to take some coaching course during the off season..He expects his players to workout…so he should do the same.

  • Thanks for another great podcast!

    The most disappointing thing about this loss, besides the loss itself, is the season-ending injury that occurred to Le’Veon Bell in the second quarter. Bell suffered an MCL injury to the same knee late last season. This injury appeared to be worse than last year’s. I’m hoping because it’s the same knee, it won’t wind up hindering Bell’s running ability for the rest of his career. (It’s quite a coincidence that it happened against the same opposing team as last season.)

    It’s just been one of those seasons, folks. We get our star QB back, then we lose our star RB. It’s the way the cookie crumbles, and unfortunately for us, it’s been constantly crumbling all around us. I thought our OL did a good job, considering we have a backup Tackle in Alejandro Villanueva, who will be filling in for Kelvin Beachum for the rest of the season, and a backup Center in Cody Wallace starting for Pro Bowler Maurkice Pouncey. The unit did give up three sacks, but so did the Bengals’.

    With Bell out on IR, DeAngelo Williams is back in the spotlight. Williams had a decent showing as he ran for 71 yards on 9 carries with a 7.9 average per carry. That average is high, largely because of his nice long-run of 55 yards. We just signed ex-Rams RB Isaiah Pead to help Williams with the RB duties as the season progresses. That was a good move, but we also still have Jordan Todman. That’s a pretty good 3-way attack.

    Ben Roethlisberger had a very nice 12-play, 80-yard opening drive that ended with him tossing a pass to Antonio Brown in the right side of the end zone for a 1-yard TD. That drive took 7:14 off the clock. As the game went on, Ben seemed to have a bad case of nerves after he took a slight hit to his knee. After that happened, he seemed to be feeling some discomfort and the knee brace seemed to have him a bit on the stiff side at times. He was overthrowing WRs and TEs at times, but I expected that to happen in his first return to action in just over a month.

    Big Ben was 28 of 45 for 262 yards with a TD, and 3 three INTs, and was sacked 3 times as I mentioned earlier.

    Andy Dalton was 23 of 38 for 231 yards with a TD and 2 INTs and was sacked 3 times as well.

    The Steelers averaged 5.3 yards per play, while the Bengals averaged 4.6. It was a pretty even game overall, and it was a game I thought the Steelers should have won. If Bell hadn’t gone down, I think the end result would have been different. He was starting to get into a groove, and I was just waiting for something big to happen.

    Antonio Brown finished the game with 6 receptions for 47 yards, a 7.8 average and a long of 17 yards to go along with his one TD, while Martavis Bryant had 4 receptions for 49 yards, a 12.3 average with a long of 21 yards.

    Needless to say, not a very productive day for either wide-out. Granted, some of Ben’s passes were high and ill-advised as he threw into coverage quite a bit, but some of his other throws were right on the money, yet the receivers just couldn’t handle them. Right-handed QB, then a left-handed QB, then a right-handed QB…………does that really matter? Perhaps, but when you have receivers with the skills of Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant, they should be able to catch the ball at least some of the time when they’re in heavy traffic, but against the Bengals, it just wasn’t happening.

    Bengals’ A.J. Green finished with 11 receptions for 118 yards, and his one TD was the dagger in the hearts of Steelers fans all across the world. Unless something extraordinary happens, the Bengals have just won the AFC North.

    This was a pretty even game. I mean most of the stats were virtually equal. The Steelers had 21 first downs to the Bengals’ 16. T.O.P. was in the Steelers favor, but only for 58 seconds as they held the ball for 30:09 to the Bengals’ 29:51. Total yards were in the Steelers favor also, but again, not by much as they had 356 to the Bengals’ 296.

    I thought both defenses played well. There were some jaw-jarring hits out there as there should have been in a divisional game. Especially a divisional game that would more than likely determine whether or not the Bengals would win the AFC North this season. I know I already said it once, but unfortunately for us, it looks as if the Bengals took that crown from us on Sunday at our very own Heinz Field.

    Both Antwon Blake and Mike Mitchell had very nice interceptions with good returns, but we couldn’t capitalize on them. That hurt badly. Cameron Heyward had another good performance and he even blocked a FG. That was a sweet play! Ryan Shazier showed flashes of his quickness and played better than he did last week. He didn’t get injured, and that’s always a good thing, but let’s wait to see if that changes come Wednesday.

    For the most part, our kick coverage wasn’t too bad. As for Berry, most of his punts had a lot of hang-time on them. Once again, Boswell was money when asked to come in and kick a 32-yarder for us.

    A few other things that need mentioning:

    Before Big Ben got injured earlier this season, in his first 2 games, he had already passed for 720 yards, 4 TDs and only 1 INT. He was right at 39,969 career passing yards when he got hurt. He only needed 31 yards to reach the milestone of 40,000 career passing yards. He surpassed that against the Bengals on Sunday, and now is the only Steelers QB to ever do so. He is also only the 16th QB in NFL history to reach that total.

    Remember, last season Big Ben was tied for the most passing yards in the league with 4,952. He has passed for over 4,000 yards in 4 of the last 6 seasons. Did he have a pretty lack-luster game on Sunday? Yeah, but consider what he’s done for this organization over the past decade or so. One thing is for sure, we may have lost the division title on Sunday, but one QB you can never count-out is Big Ben. He simply never gives up. That’s just one of the reasons why he’s one of the greatest QBs of all time.

    I also have to mention Heath Miller. It was just last week that we were all wishing him a happy 33rd birthday, and on Sunday he explodes with 10 catches for 105 yards. He looked like a linebacker when he tackled a Bengals defender after an interception thrown by Ben. Heath is as solid as they come. Pay no attention to outsiders, We all know what the deal is when it comes to Heath Miller. The guy is clutch. BIG TIME!

    Well, here come the Raiders. It really sucks that we have to face an organization that the Steelers have had so many great battles with over the decades without our star RB, Le’Veon Bell. One thing is for sure, we have to start winning games. Especially these AFC match-ups! The playoffs are right around the corner. So even if we can eke out a few wins while Ben fights his way back to 100%, I’ll take ’em. A victory by one point is still a victory.

    Until then, as always…………GO STEELERS!

  • ND_Steel

    Team doesn’t handle success well, no killer instinct. NE puts teams away. We celebrate taking a lead.

  • Mark Tercsak

    Lets Focus on the real Issues as to why the Steelers Lost, No#7 at one point in this game decided that he had to complete a pass no matter what to No#10 and it was a sideline past and he ciontinued to throw in to Double coverage, that was a huge mistake, he would not give up on it, until he completed that pass and he did not complete it did he ? The fact is there were other receivers on the field and No#7 should have been looking for them ! Over all the offensive line blocked pretty well, but the inside gap protection in pass blocking situations needs improvement, the Center-Guard and Guard-Tackle gaps need to be tightened up, and these offensive lineman need to be taught you pass protect inside /out. for that is the direct route to N0#7.. Defense a lot of folks are going to be surprised by what I’am going to say, the Tackling was Horrid, in fact they are not really tacking , they are hitting people, Guys you need to Form Tackle, wrap the ball carrier up and take him down, the Idea is to prevent the ball Carrier from gaining extra Yards after you hit him, I think you guys are just Lazzy !

  • Randy Largent

    I’m not exactly sure why the Rooney’s think this guy can coach. How many times, since he’s been the head coach, have Steeler fans had to question play calling and clock management? He may be great with the players, but he can’t manage the game.

  • Randy Largent

    One other point. How do we lose the time in San Diego and no one catches that. I saw it. I taped the game and was watching the replay. I rewound several times to see if I’d missed something.

  • The Notorious TOM

    Oh stop it lmao.

  • Randy Largent

    What’s Imao? And tell me that you don’t think Tony Dungy would be better?