The Pittsburgh Steelers are starting to move the football with relative ease, primarily through the air with Isaac Redman questionable after showing symptoms for a concussion.
Following Cincinnati's second punt in as many possessions to open the game, the Steelers began a rhythmic possession, gaining decent yardage on first down and converting a first down on second. Thanks to a 24-yard defensive pass interference, the Steelers reached midfield.
Then they lost it.
On second and eight with 3:30 remaining in the first quarter, Roethlisberger settled in the pocket after Pittsburgh's offensive line protected their quarterback with a six-man blitz. Roethlisberger floated the football to tight end David Paulson. A ho-hum tackle and return back to the huddle featured impassioned defenders recovering the fumble that was ruled down by contact.
Marvin Lewis challenged. Marvin Lewis won the challenge.
Every takes a moment to enjoy the momentous occasion.
Then the Bengals took advantage.
Following a five-yard hitch to Jermaine Gresham, then a Giovani Bernard eight-yard shuffle, the Bengals have first and ten from the Bengals 26-yard line with 2:22 remaining in the first quarter. Andy Dalton takes the snap and finds a wide open Tyler Eifert running a seem, sprinting like a beautiful tight end sprints for 61 yards to the Steelers 13-yard line. A seven-yard Mohamed Sanu reception later, and Giovani Bernard read his blocks for the seven-yard touchdown -- the first of his career.
Eifert with a 61-yard reception to setup an eventual Giovani touchdown run.
I can get used to this.