The Steelers said they were playing their best football. Bengals fans quietly thought to themselves "you know, the Bengals are playing pretty damn well themselves right about now." And our boys in orange and black came through in Pittsburgh, as Carson Palmer improved his career record at Heinz Field to 3-2. And really, this game was won by the defense and the big men up front on offense.
It was, for the most part, a pretty even game. But in the second half it was the Bengals defense, led by backups Jonathan Fanene and Brandon Johnson (2 sacks, 2 tfl, 1 qb hit; 2 passes defensed, respectively) up front, and Morgan Trent and David Jones in the seconday (broke up key passes and tipped Frostee's interception ball) that closed the game down.
The Bengals gave up 41 yards in the fourth quarter, only 7 on the Steelers' final two drives, as the offense, powered by back ups Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard, milked enough of the clock on a 4:20 drive for 3 before the defense came back onto the field and gave Ben Roethlisberger no time and no open receivers. Carson took some knees, and the Bengals won.
There was not much offense in this game. Time of possession was roughly even. Both teams accrued 10 first downs. The deciding factor on the scoreboard was Bernard Scott's touchdown return with 4:26 to go in the first quarter, the only touchdown of the game. Frostee Rucker's superaware interception probably went a long way in securing the victory, as the Bengals defense won the turnover battle and shut down the Steelers when they had to.
Enjoy your victory, Bengals fans. Chant "WHO DEY!" in the streets. This is certainly a good year to be a Bengals fan.