Game: Bengals AT Steelers
When: Sunday at 1 p.m.
Story: The Bengals get their first opportunity to get "pay-back" for what they thought was theirs last season. The Steelers, defending the Super Bowl title, will try to rebound after being embarrassed on Monday Night football.
The Guys: We get the A-team, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms.
Personnel Update: T.J. Houshmandzadeh will play against Pittsburgh. However, Chris Henry will get the start. Eric Ghiaciuc will start for Rich Braham and Kevin Kaesviharn will start for Dexter Jackson. Like Braham and Jackson, Antonio Chatman, Tab Perry, A.J. Nicholson, Frostee Rucker and Reggie McNeal are listed as inactive.
You can get all my Steelers week notes here.
Behind the Steel Curtain represents the 412.
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4:04: Kevin K. picks off the pass in the end-zone to seal this one up. Ben and the Steelers were moving the ball and had the ball at 1st-and-10 on the Cincinnati 16 with :43 seconds left. Game over. Bengals win 28-20. Hell YEA!
3:57: Two minute warning. After a an incomplete and sack, the Steelers are stuck with a third-and-11 at their own 21 yard line. Big play time... interception??? C'mon defense.
3:48: M.Williams and Johnathon Joseph both knocked down passes that would have been a touchdown or a first down. Steelers kicked a field goal on 4th-and-12. Bengals now have the ball with 3:13 left in the game with 3 Steelers timeout. Bengals lead 28-20.
3:35: Jesus. OK, here's what just happened -- if you're not running in place full of fire. Haynes fumbled the ball running for a first down.. recovered by Simmons. First offensive play, Palmer throws it up to T.J. for a TOUCHDOWN. Bengals are up 28-17. HA.
3:29: BENGALS TOUCHDOWN! First play, Palmer tosses over the middle to an uncovered TJ. Bengals are winning 21-17. Talk about being down only seconds ago. Now I've ran six times around my block in less than 15 seconds. GOOOOO Defense!
3:28: YES. Bengals punted by #21 muffs the punt and the Bengals get the ball back. Tony Stewart recovered at the 9..........
3:24: Bengals have a chance to take the lead. After the defense did a nice job forcing a three-and-out, the Steelers punter (you try to spell his last name) shanked it -- but the Bengals let it roll. Bengals have the ball on their own 32. Lets GO!
3:16: OK, after Palmer gained a first down by leaping -- on second effort -- to the right after being stuffed a yard short, he gets sacked again. However, after Palmer was sacked for the fifth time today, the team had to call a time out. Levi Jones came out (injury?) and Whitworth came in for Jones while Steinbach stays at left guard.
3:07: OK, here we go. Palmer fumbles for the THIRD time today. Sorry, but that just doesn't get it done in a big game like this. A chance for the Bengals, after getting the ball on the Steelers 22, and yet, the team doesn't even get a field goal. Horrible.
3:02: Brian Simmons just left the game hanging his shoulder. Bengals offense looks like they did in the first quarter -- dead. Bengals rush defense looks as usual... horrible.
2:54: After stopping the Steelers on 3rd-and-goal at the one, they went for it on fourth. Strong side was to the right with a guy motioning left, Parker takes the ball on a counter-like step and runs to the weak side. Adams was trying to clot up the left but Parker made it in anyway. Bengals are behind 14-17.
2:48: Ike Taylor picked off the pass. Palmer threw the pass way too high that Henry went up and tried to grab. The tipped pass was grabbed by Taylor and he took it back to the 7-yard line. A smashing hit by #25 laid out Henry. What a hit.
2:40: The Bengals defense, between the 20s, just gets walked on. However, for the second straight time, the defense stopped the Steelers red-zone offense forcing Pittsburgh to kick a field goal. Bengals lead 14-10.
2:32: We're kicking off the second half. The Bengals need to improve against the rush and their own offensive rush. The Bengals passing in the second quarter was flawless and the big-play of the defense came through. Just need to stop them from running. What did you see?
2:18: What a great two-minute (actually 1:08) drive before the half. The Bengals went seven plays for 62 yards to take the lead 14-7. The Kenny Watson draw play, with no time outs and 25 seconds left in the half, went 18 yards. That play was AWESOME! Great job by the Bengals after a horrid first quarter. We're now at half-time.
2:08: John Thornton tipped the field goal attempt. YES!
2:06: Great coverage sack on Big Ben. He had no one to throw to and eventually Geathers sacked him. Now the Steelers are stuck with a 48-yard field goal attempt. This first half is flying...
2:02: Bengals can't stop the Steelers rush attack. How sweet would it have been if Smith picked off that pass? Either way, the Bengals have allowed two long 3rd downs to get converted. Now it's 3rd-and-8 at the two minutes warning.
1:52: BENGALS TOUCHDOWN. After starting on their own 3-yard line, the Bengals went 97 yards on a 14-play drive. The Steelers brought the house on third and two at the Steelers 16-yard line. Palmer dropped back and threw it up to Henry who hauled down the pass. Bengals tied Pittsburgh at 7.
1:46: With the Bengals starting on their own three-yard line, they ran Rudi twice for minimal gains. On third down, Palmer passes to the left for a screen pass to T.J. Rudi ran a couple of more times for next to nothing, but Palmer is starting to warm up completing four straight passes; two to Rudi who's sitting where the linebackers are leaving.
1:38: INTERCEPTION. M.Williams picked off a pass (I think it was tipped) from Big Ben. He caught it about 5 yards deep in the end-zone and RAN IT OUT??????? The good news is that Pittsburgh drove down the Bengals throats and didn't come away with a score. Hopefully the Bengals offense can gain some mo... However, since Williams returned the pick out of the end-zone, they will be starting on their own 3-yard line.
1:35: End of the FIRST QUARTER and the Steelers lead 7-0. The Steelers dominated total yards, 120-23.
1:33: Bengals defense looks horrible. No pass rush, missed tackling and CANT GET THE STEELERS OFFENSE OFF THE FIELD.
1:27: Palmer. What the heck? On third down, he fumbles. Luckily, Watson picked it up and ran for a first down. Drops back again, Palmer fumbles from intense pressure from Larry Foote; Eric G. jumps on the lose ball. Palmer, on 2nd and 15, drops back and throws an interception to Townsend. So far, Palmer and Tory James are playing horribly.
1:17: Tory James was owned on the 36-yard completion on 3rd-and-10. That could be a big play not forcing the offense off the field. Then he gets called for an illegal contact that I believe could have gone both ways -- or not called at all.
1:14: The Bengals defense was just owned. On Willie Parker's run up the middle, the Bengals defensive line just got pushed back. Horrible effort by the defense on the Steelers first drive.
1:10: Tory James was covering Wilson who gained 36-yards on third down and 10 to go. Horrible coverage.
1:06: After success runs to the right by Rudi Johnson, Palmer passes on third and three to Henry. The pass went incomplete and the Bengals offense went three-and-out.
1:00: Bengals win coin toss and will receive. They are wearing white shirts and black pants.
12:57: The beer is cold, the steaks are sizzling, it's time for the biggest game of the year -- to this point.