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mesaSteeler
12-05-2011, 05:57 AM
Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game 12 v.s Bengals
Monday, December 05, 2011
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

GAME BALL GOES TO: WR ANTONIO BROWN

He didn't touch the ball many times against the Bengals, but when he did, something big usually happened. Brown had only two catches, but one was a 45-yard catch-and-run to the Bengals 15 to set up the first touchdown, and another was a 60-yard punt return to make it 28-7. The Steelers called for a middle return, but Brown got a seal block from CB Bryant McFadden and raced untouched down the right sideline. "He can take it anywhere he wants to go, so we might as well block it that way," said special teams coach Al Everest.

X's AND O's

Not only was the Bengals' 4-yard TD pass negated by a penalty on the opening series, their 28-yard field goal by Mike Nugent was wiped out by a delay-of-game penalty two plays later. So when Nugent lined to attempt a 33-yarder, special teams coach Al Everest decided to call for a block -- and got it from DE Cameron Heyward up the middle. "We weren't going for the block because of the situation, but when they got that delay, we changed the call," Everest said.

THE COUNTDOWN

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

1. THE BUNGLES: With a chance to set a quick tone in their division showdown, the Bengals wiped out not one, but two scores with pre-snap penalties on their opening possession. A false start against rookie WR A.J. Green negated a 4-yard TD to TE Jermaine Gresham; two plays later, a delay penalty wiped out Mike Nugent's 28-yard field goal. His second attempt from 33 yards was blocked. "It was one thing after another in that first part," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said.

2. MORE BUNGLES: Starting at his 35, Ben Roethlisberger threw a deep pass for Mike Wallace that appeared to be over his head. But S Chris Crocker was called for a debatable pass interference penalty that gave the Steelers the ball at the Bengals 20, leading to the second TD.

3. HARD WITH RASHARD: After the pass interference against Crocker, Rashard Mendenhall carried three consecutive times. The third carry resulted in the second of his two TDs, a 5-yarder in which he took a toss right, cut back against the flow and scored for a 14-0 lead.

4. RED NOT DEAD: One week after they converted just one of three chances in the red zone, the Steelers scored four TDs on four trips inside the Bengals 20 -- the first time this season the Steelers scored a touchdown on every red-zone opportunity.

5. NO COMEBACK: The Bengals came back from a 14-point deficit in the first meeting, but the Steelers made sure they didn't overcome a 21-point deficit this time. They got three sacks from OLB James Harrison and an Ike Taylor interception after they made it 28-7.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

308 That's the number of times Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked in his career, breaking the team record of 307 held by Terry Bradshaw. Roethlisberger was sacked twice against the Bengals, raising his season total to 34.

WHAT WAS HE THINKING?

The Steelers are making a concentrated effort to get Hines Ward enough catches to become the eighth player in NFL history to have 1,000 career catches. After appearing for just nine snaps in the first meeting in Cincinnati, Ward played 20 snaps against the Bengals and had five catches for 30 yards. He became the 19th player in league history to top 12,000 receiving yards (12,021). "Twelve thousands yards .... that's not bad for a lot of option routes and choice routes," Ward said. "That's a lot of passes, considering I don't really go deep all the time."

OVERHEARD

"I think we're getting there. We're getting better each week. I think guys are having that sense of urgency as we're getting closer to the playoffs."

-- WR Mike Wallace, who had two touchdowns, after the Steelers won for the seventh time in eight games

THURSDAY'S OPPONENT

vs. CLEVELAND BROWNS, 8:20 P.M. The Steelers (9-3) play their second game in five days Thursday at Heinz Field. The Steelers have won 14 of the past 15 and 20 of the past 22 meetings with the Browns, including postseason

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11339/1194636-66-0.stm#ixzz1ff1E0SGB