Recurring Personal Fouls Need To Stop
It fortunately was not significant after the great second half, but the 2 personal fouls on Hope & Taylor, together with the taunting call on Hines Ward, in the first half advanced 2 Cincy drives that resulted in points and blunted a Steeler drive. When combined with the personal foul calls on Polamalou and Hope in the 2 previous games, a definite pattern of over the edge play has emerged that is going to cost a game at some point if it is not cleaned up.
I was especially surprised that a team leader such as Hines Ward engaged in virtually every activity short of throwing the ball at the ref that might be attempted to get a taunting call. You can be a vocal leader without costing your team a penalty (see - e.g. - James Farrior & Jerome Bettis).
Based on the toned down second half conduct I assume Cowher emphasized that point at halftime.