Open Thread II: Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)

The Bengals offense started the game going three-and-out three times (losing 20 yards with penalties and sacks) before Carson Palmer completed his first pass of the game with 12:30 left in the second quarter. After that, they sustained a drive using a combination of quick passes and runs before a penalty by Bobbie Williams forced the Bengals to punt on the first drive in which they sustained a drive. After the Steelers failed to convert on the fourth down, with over a minute left in the half, the Bengals reduced the 13-point deficit to ten points with a 34-yard field goal.

Defensively, the Bengals simply can't stop the Steelers. If the Steelers want to run the football, they run it. If the Steelers want to throw the football deep, they throw it deep. If the Steelers want to call quick passes, they complete quick passes.

Bengals   Steelers  
3 plays (-5 yards) Punt 11 plays (79 yards) FG
3 plays (-5 yards) Punt 8 plays (64 yards) TD
3 plays (-10 yards) Punt 5 plays (55 yards) FG
11 plays (47 yards) Punt 12 plays (51 yards) Turnover on Downs
7 plays (49 yards) FG    

In truth, the Bengals could have gone into the lockerroom with a much worse deficit than 10 points. They started to show signs of life on offense, recording two drives with 40 yards or more. Ten points is a manageable deficit. However, the offense has to record touchdowns, or else this game is always running the risk of being a blow out because the defense has shown no ability to slow the Steelers offense. Defensively, the team's more prominent defenders need to step up, causing turnovers and preventing long first and second downs so the offense is forced into long third down situations.

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