I think most Bengal's fans will agree that although we won Thursday night it was one of sloppiest games we've played in the last 2 months, especially on offense. Even though we lost to both Dallas and Denver we actually played much better in those games than we did against the Eagles. The Dallas game we absolutely dominated but just lost focus and missed opportunities by uncharacteristically dropping balls from normally sure handed players (A.J., Hawkins, Clements, Newman, etc.). As for the Denver game, they are one of the most talented and hottest teams in NFL right now and we actually played well enough to win that game.
My point is aside from this past Thursday nights less than stellar performance against the Eagles we have been playing as good or better than any team in the NFL over the last two months so our confidence going into Pittsburgh should still be very high.
Why did we play so Bad Thursday night?
If you have NFL network, you have probably noticed that almost every Thursday night game has been sloppy because of the lack of time teams have to prepare for the game (teams going on the road basically have a day maybe two at the most to prepare). This is one of reason the NFL tries to schedule geographically close games between conference or even divisional opponents when they can because at least there's already some built in familiarity with your opponent during a short week. This was NOT the case for the Bengals because the Bengals vs Eagles happens to be the only non conference game that was on NFL's networks Thursday's night football schedule this year.
NFL Network Thursday Night Football Schedule
Bucks vs Vikings - Conference (played last year)
Cheifs vs Chargers - Division
Colts vs Jags - Division
Bengals vs Eagles - NON CONFERENCE (last played 2008)
So why did the offense so play so bad?
Marvin Lewis stated during one of his press conferences that the Bengals actually did some of the Eagles's game planning during there buy week in week 8 to help compensate for the short week. That's pretty smart thinking right? Here's the kicker, that happened to be the week the Eagles fired there defensive coordinator so the only game planning they could have done during that buy week for offense was on the defense the Eagle ran before they fired there d- coordinator. This essentially left our offense with about a day of game planning to prepare for an Eagles defense that we haven't faced in 4 years.
The good thing is this week we have 10 days to prepare and game plan for a divisional opponent that we already know very well so we can go in and Kick the Steeler's A$$!!!!