Antonio Brown picks up good yardage on punt return as Ike Taylor blocks for him against the Bengals Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
By Gerry Dulac Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
goes to: CB Ike Taylor
Taylor bounced back from a poor performance in Tennessee in which he was penalized three times and gave up the winning touchdown to hold the NFL's leading receiver, A.J. Green, to just one catch for 8 yards. That catch was for a touchdown, but Taylor's performance against Green was part of a defensive effort in which the Steelers held the Bengals to 105 yards passing. "They can say what they want, they can write what they want, he's been doing that for years," said CB Keenan Lewis. "We told him go out and play your game, be Ike Taylor, be Swaggin' U. You can't ask for better than that."
A quick look at the top performances from Sunday's game:
1. BIG GAFFES: Ben Roethlisberger had turnovers on back-to-back plays in the second quarter, the latter leading to a touchdown that padded the Bengals lead to 14-3. Roethlisberger was intercepted in the end zone on a first-down pass to Heath Miller from the Bengals 21. On the next series, Roethlisberger fumbled when he was sacked by Robert Geathers and Devon Still and the Bengals converted the turnover into an 8-yard TD.
2. GAME-CHANGER. LaMarr Woodley returned an interception that deflected off the helmet of G Kevin Zeitler 11 yards to the Bengals 29, leading to Heath Miller's 9-yard TD pass and 2-point conversion that tied the score at 14-14 with 24 seconds remaining in the first half. "The main thing was to get the ball, hold the ball and get good field position," Woodley said.
3. RAINEY'S RUN: The Steelers have been waiting for Chris Rainey to make a big play, and he delivered early in the fourth quarter with an 11-yard TD that gave the Steelers a 24-17 lead. "It feels good, but I know how to win, I know what it takes to win," Rainey said.
4. BIG CONVERSIONS: Roethlisberger converted a pair of third downs, none bigger than a third-and-6 on the last play of third quarter when Emmanuel Sanders had a 31-yard catch-and-run to set up the go-ahead TD by Rainey.
5. WHO DAT? The Bengals ranked last in the league in third-down conversions, but they were 3 for 4 on third down and had a fourth-down conversion on the opening 80-yard touchdown drive. The Bengals were just 2 of 9 on third down after that
"That was really big. We needed it. It was our first AFC North victory, got us back to .500 and we needed one on the road. We all knew we needed that win to stay in the race." -- Emmanuel Sanders
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
21: The length in yards of a Jonathan Dwyer run in the second quarter that led to Shaun Suisham's 47-yard field goal. It was the Steelers' first run of 20 yards or longer this season. The Steelers and Detroit Lions were the only teams without a run of 20 yards or longer.
WHAT WAS HE THINKING?
The Steelers had three dropped passes in the first half -- two by Mike Wallace -- and at least two of them proved to be costly. Wallace's first drop on third down at the Bengals 11 forced them to settle for a field goal on their opening drive. Baron Batch dropped a flea-flicker pass from Antonio Brown that would have been an easy 29-yard TD. It was a costly drop because Roethlisberger was intercepted in the end zone two plays later.
X's AND O's
Willie Colon has struggled since moving from right tackle to left guard -- the prime pulling position -- none worse than when he had three holding penalties against the Eagles. But Colon was a monster pulling on the team's bread-and-butter counter plays against the Bengals, throwing the big blocks on Chris Rainey's go-ahead 11-yard TD run and several long runs by Jonathan Dwyer. Those blocks, and his feistiness, helped the Steelers rush for a season-high 167 yards. "If I got to be the bully, I don't have a problem with that," Colon said.
vs. WASHINGTON REDSKINS, 1 P.M. SUNDAY: The Steelers (3-3) will play the Washington Redskins (3-4) Sunday at 1 p.m. at Heinz Field. This will be only the third appearance at Heinz Field for the Redskins, who have lost the past four meetings with the Steelers.