Win the turnover battle
In an ugly game for turnovers, the Bengals did come out ahead on the stat sheet. Andy Dalton was responsible for two interceptions. One was a terrible decision on a throw in the endzone that was a gut punch for the Bengals. However, Ben Roethlisberger gifted Reggie Nelson an interception that more than made up for it. Backup safety Shawn Williams also had a great play to pick of Roethlisberger and give the Bengals momentum.
Stop the run
Let me get this out of the way first. It was unfortunate what happened to Le'Veon Bell when he was tackled in the second quarter by Vontaze Burfict. I can not for the life of me see how someone would call that a dirty hit, but many Steeler fans are. These people are morons.
Bell looked to be having a good day against the Bengals. He was averaging 4.5 yards per carry and there was a feeling that he was going to pop one eventually. His replacement, DeAngelo Williams did break a 55 yarder which helped him achieve his 71 total yards.
The Bengals did well against the run. Pittsburgh was forced to attempt 45 passes and only ran the ball 19 times. This is the ratio you would hope for because it shows the Steelers felt they needed to gain yards through the air and could not rely on the running game.
Run the football
Nope, nope, nope. The Bengals probably should have run the football more. The running game wasn't great, which had to be helped by the fact that the Bengals showed their hand far too often in the running game. If it was a running down or play, Jeremy Hill was in the game, if Hill wasn't in on the play, it likely was a passing play. The defense stacked the box and yards were hard to come by. Giovani Bernard only attempted one run the entire game and gained 12 yards on the play.
The offense became too predictable. When Bernard was in, the Bengals were passing. When Hill was in they were looking to run for the most part. It was too easy for the Pittsburgh defense to key in on the players. Cincinnati also should have probably attempted a run when inside the five yard line before Dalton tossed an interception in the end zone. You have to rely on your backs to pick up those hard yards.
It was obvious Andy Dalton was targeting Eifert in this game. There were a bunch of passes that were broken up, dropped or thrown poorly targeting the Bengals' tight end. Eifert seemed to be a major part of the game plan for the Bengals, but only materialized with 4 catches for 39 yards.
Hit Ben Roethlisberger
At times the Bengals pressured Roethlisberger into making poor decisions. The injured quarterback was forced to move out of the pocket often to try and extend plays. His injury was never more evident than when he made a poor decision and then limped to the sideline and re-examined his knee. Weird how it looked fine in his drive-saving scramble or when celebrating his touchdown pass. The Bengals sacked Roethlisberger three times, which isn't easy to do.
The Bengals were able to generate enough pressure to disrupt the Steelers' offense. Pittsburgh's is one of the top offenses in the league and it has incredible talent to move the ball down the field. Cincinnati's defense should be commended for limiting the Steelers to 10 points.