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mesaSteeler
11-16-2009, 06:14 AM
Steelers Report Card: Game 9 vs. Bengals
Gerry Dulac grades Steelers 18-12 loss to the Bengals
Monday, November 16, 2009
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

QUARTERBACK C-

Ben Roethlisberger had his worst outing of the season, completing only 50 percent of his passes and just one of his final nine. He was often erratic; witness a bad pass behind Hines Ward that was deflected, intercepted and returned 26 yards to set up a field goal. He even had three passes batted at the line. But he was sacked four times and was under pressure from an aggressive defense.

RUNNING BACKS C-

The Bengals held the Steelers to 80 yards rushing -- their lowest total since the season opener against Tennessee (36). Rashard Mendenhall had just one 10-yard run and finished with 36 yards on 13 attempts, his lowest total since becoming a starter. But part of the problem was that the offense converted just 3 of 15 third downs and couldn't find any rhythm.

WIDE RECEIVER C

The Bengals made sure to take away the deep pass against the Steelers, who could not complete a pass longer than 21 yards. Santonio Holmes had seven catches for 88 yards, but he had 14 passes thrown his way and could not shake free for a big play. He also let a potential 17-yard TD go through his hands at the end of the first half -- one of four failed TD opportunities in the red zone.

OFFENSIVE LINE D

The Bengals were putting pressure on Roethlisberger, forcing the Steelers to keep RB Mewelde Moore and TE Heath Miller in the backfield on passing downs, especially on the final series when Roethlisberger had trouble finding an open receiver. Roethlisberger had to escape pressure on too many occasions. DE Jonathan Fanene had two sacks, the biggest on third-and-goal at the 8.

DEFENSIVE LINE B-

The Bengals rushed for 61 yards on 29 carries -- their second lowest of the season -- but were able to move the Steelers off the ball and grind out 28 yards on the ground on their final field-goal drive. It helped that Cedric Benson injured his hip in the second quarter and did not return. DE Brett Keisel had good pressure on Carson Palmer and batted a third-down pass at the Steelers' 14.

LINEBACKERS C

Outside linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley each had a sack, but they each had moments of ignominy. Harrison took a 15-yard penalty for punching left tackle Andrew Whitworth in the head on the Bengals' final field-goal drive. Woodley whiffed on a tackle on a 21-yard catch-and-run that set up a field goal. James Farrior got beat for 17 yards on a third-down dump pass.

DEFENSIVE BACKS C

Palmer passed for only 178 yards and his longest gain was 25 yards, but he completed six of his final seven passes -- five for 46 yards on the winning field-goal drive. The lone incompletion was a dropped INT by Ryan Clark. CB Ike Taylor did a good job on Chad Ochocinco, who had two catches for 29 yards. The loss of S Troy Polamalu took away some of the defense's big-play capabilities.

Special Teams F

It is one thing that the Steelers allowed their third kickoff return for a touchdown in the past four games -- this one a 96-yarder to RB Bernard Scott. But when it is the only touchdown scored in the game, it becomes even more significant. OK, Stefan Logan had a 25-yard punt return to help set up a field goal but continues to get little on kick returns and was finally replaced by Mike Wallace.

COACHING C

It's hard to argue with a defensive plan when the Bengals had 218 yards offense, 14 first downs and didn't have a play longer than 25 yards. However, the offense never adjusted to the Bengals' pressure. Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer stifled a very productive offense. Coach Mike Tomlin had little to gain by disdaining a tying field goal on fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter.
Gerry Dulac can be reached at gdulac@post-gazette.com.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09320/1013809-66.stm#ixzz0X1XOF2Fm

eafratitpm3
11-16-2009, 06:52 AM
I agree with all except the QB rating should have been D-, I can't really agree with the Wide Receiver rating as most of Ben's passes were either batted down at the line of scrimmage or not catchable. Coaching I would say is a D overall.

madtowndrunkard
11-16-2009, 08:13 AM
I agree with all except the QB rating should have been D-, I can't really agree with the Wide Receiver rating as most of Ben's passes were either batted down at the line of scrimmage or not catchable. Coaching I would say is a D overall.


I'm curious how you can have a C grade for Ben when he had one of his worst games of his career?

The play calling on the last drive opportunity was enough to earn the coaching staff an F. If I was Dick Lebeau I would have punched Arians in the face after that play calling. Our defense was great as always so I guess I can understand giving them a C overall.

The kick return is 100% on the coaches. Tomlin should have done something drastic about our ST's issues before this game even happened. Any ST's coaches looking for a job? They can't possibly be any worse then what we have now.

Fire Haley
11-16-2009, 11:19 AM
The life went out of the team the moment Troy got hurt - it was like Ben was in shock, you could see it in his eyes on the sidelines, like
-- - " We're screwed now man...there goes our season". I could feel it too.

Steeldude
11-16-2009, 02:48 PM
the DBs a C??? they did better than a C. the defense all around did better than a C.

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-16-2009, 04:18 PM
the DBs a C??? they did better than a C. the defense all around did better than a C.

I thought so too, the DB's were playing to a B. Gay and Taylor both were in the middle of a lot, but it was apparent that the Bengals O line wore down the Steelers front 7 by the end of the game.........the way the Steelers O line used to do it.

I thought that it was amusing how there are no threads this week touting Starks or Kemo for Pro bowl like there were 6 days ago. :noidea:

Angus Burgher
11-16-2009, 04:22 PM
The life went out of the team the moment Troy got hurt - it was like Ben was in shock, you could see it in his eyes on the sidelines, like
-- - " We're screwed now man...there goes our season". I could feel it too.

He did look defeated. I didn't notice it until the last quarter, but I saw him on the sidelines and thought, "We're not going to win this game."

It's the reverse of how I felt at the end of the Super Bowl. When I saw him walk out onto the field for The Last Drive, I literally KNEW he was going to score. It sounds silly, but I didn't have a doubt in my mind.

Yesterday, I had nothing but doubt.