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mesaSteeler
12-13-2010, 06:22 AM
Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game 13 vs. Bengals
Monday, December 13, 2010
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10347/1110420-66.stm

Game Ball goes to: S Troy Polamalu

For the third game in a row, the five-time Pro Bowl safety came up with a game-changing play, even though this one, unlike Buffalo and Baltimore, occurred in the first half. Polamalu returned an interception of a Carson Palmer pass intended for Terrell Owens 45 yards for a touchdown to pump some life into his teammates and tie the score at 7-all. For good measure, he intercepted another pass for Owens near the goal line in the fourth quarter. "Troy is an amazing player," said inside linebacker James Farrior. "He does amazing things."
X's and O's

Outside LB LaMarr Woodley had one of the nine penalties called against the Steelers, and it was a big one, jumping offside on an incomplete pass on third down that kept alive the Bengals' only scoring drive in the first quarter. But Woodley atoned with two sacks that pushed his season total to eight and a 14-yard interception return for touchdown that made it 20-7. "The guy got a pick-6 and two sacks," said outside linebacker James Harrison. "He definitely made up for that."
The Countdown

A quick look at the top performances from Sunday's game:

1 Polamalu's pick: Troy Polamalu rarely practices on Wednesday and Thursday during the week because of his ankle injury, but it doesn't stop him from making big plays in a game. He did it again in the second quarter, picking off Palmer's pass in the middle of the field and diving with his right arm outstretched at the pylon to tie the score at 7-7. The play changed the momentum of the game. "After that, I think everybody woke up," said inside LB James Farrior.

2 Big Losses: Already leading 7-0, the Bengals moved to the Steelers' 27 after a 24-yard catch-and-run by RB Cedric Benson. But a sack by Woodley and a nice play for a 3-yard loss by ILB Lawrence Timmons pushed the Bengals out of field-goal range.

3 El of a catch: With the score tied at 7-all, WR Antwaan Randle El made his first catch in four games a highlight one leaping to make a one-handed grab for a 22-yard gain to the Bengals' 18, resulting in a field goal that gave the Steelers a 10-7 lead.

4 Sweet Suisham: After Roethlisberger converted a third-and-4 with the perfectly thrown 33-yard pass to Mike Wallace, Shaun Suisham hit a 41-yard field goal to make it 23-7, giving him 14 consecutive field goals between 40-49 yards, dating to his career with the Redskins.

5 Palmer Perfect: With the help of penalties against Woodley and CB Ike Taylor, Carson Palmer was 4 for 4 for 36 yards on the opening drive, staking the Bengals to a 7-0 lead with a 1-yard toss to tackle-eligible Andrew Whitworth
What was he thinking?

On his second interception in the fourth quarter, Troy Polamalu seemed more interested in lateraling the ball to a teammate than running with it. After intercepting Carson Palmer at the goal line, Polamalu ran 12 yards and wildly tossed the ball to CB Bryant McFadden, who recovered the errant toss. Polamalu was laughing as he came off the field, but was confronted by coach Mike Tomlin and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. Later, Polamalu was near tears as he apologized for his decision.
Overheard

"Jumping offside and letting a team like Cincinnati drive down the field and put seven on the board, that was definitely on me. But my teammates were very supportive, telling me that it was no big deal, just keep your head in the game and go out there and make plays."

-- OLB LaMarr Woodley on his 14-yard interception return for touchdown, the first of his NFL career
330 Inside the numbers

That's the number of penalty yards accrued by the Steelers during their four-game winning streak, after being penalized nine times for 89 yards against the Bengals. They had 383 penalty yards in the first nine games.
Next Sunday's Opponent

vs. NEW YORK JETS, 4:15 P.M. SUNDAY: Since the 1970 merger, the Jets are 0-7 in Pittsburgh and are 3-16 against them lifetime. New York is making its first appearance at Heinz Field since the 2004 AFC first-round playoff game.


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10347/1110420-66.stm#ixzz17zfpipOM