Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game 10 vs. Bengals
GAME BALL GOES TO: CB WILLIAM GAY
X's AND O's
WR Hines Ward did not start and did not play in most of the three-wide receiver sets, where he was replaced by veteran Jerricho Cotchery. Ward was deemed healthy after taking a hit in the head against the Ravens, but the Steelers used Cotchery because they thought he could be more productive. Cotchery caught one TD; a second was negated by penalty. "We were just looking at some personnel groups and looking at ways we wanted to attack these people," coach Mike Tomlin said. "We'll do that from week to week."THE COUNTDOWN
A quick look at the top performances from Sunday's game:
1COUNTER PUNCH. After the Bengals tied the score at 17, the Steelers hurry-up offense put together an 81-yard drive that featured four completions for 46 yards by Ben Roethlisberger and five carries for 21 yards by Rashard Mendenhall. The drive ended with a nice 9-yard scoring run by Mendenhall behind blocks by G Chris Kemoeatu and TE Heath Miller. "We've been good at that all year -- when the opposing team scores, we answer," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said.
2ZONED OUT. With much attention focused on their man coverage, the Steelers were in a cover-three zone when CB William Gay intercepted Andy Dalton's final pass on second-and-9 at the Steelers 25 with 2:27 remaining. "He read my eyes the whole way," Dalton said.
3BROWN'S TOWN. WR Antonio Brown was a one-man show on a field-goal drive that made it 17-10, catching four passes for 74 yards, including two 21-yard catches on third-and-19 and first-and-20.
4BEN'S FAKE. Much like he did in Arizona, Roethlisberger's pump-fake fooled two charging defenders and allowed him to throw a 16-yard TD to a wide-open Cotchery on the opening series -- the fifth time in the past six games the Steelers have scored on their opening possession.
5COSTLY BOBBLE. One series after he took a tough hit on an 18-yard catch to set up a touchdown, TE Heath Miller bobbled an easy pass from Roethlisberger that was intercepted by CB Leon Hall at the Steelers 41. It led to a field goal that cut the Steelers lead to 14-10.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: 8
That's the number of consecutive times the Steelers have bounced back from a regular-season defeat with a victory, going back to 2009. "These guys have a lot of pride and that goes a long way sometimes," defensive captain James Farrior said.
WHAT WAS HE THINKING?
Leading 14-0, the Steelers let the Bengals get back in the game with a 36-yard TD pass from rookie QB Andy Dalton to rookie WR A.J. Green with 14 seconds remaining in the first quarter -- a play in which Pro Bowl S Troy Polamalu seemingly had position to bat the ball but instead watched Green make the acrobatic catch. It was one of the few mistakes by Polamalu, who had four of his six tackles, including two for losses, in the first half. "I wasn't aggressive against the ball," Polamalu said. "I saw the ball most of the way, then I lost it."
"It was a chance for us to show what we're made of. It was important for us to do that and hopefully stack some wins." -- Troy Polamalu on bouncing back from last week's loss to the Ravens
OPEN WEEK: The Steelers (7-3) have an off week and don't play again until Nov. 27 in Kansas City. Since 1992, the Steelers have played eight of their past nine meetings with the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium.
First Published November 14, 2011 12:00 am