Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game 8 vs. Bengals
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace pulls in long pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger deep in Bengals territory at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Monday.
Game ball goes to: Mike Wallace
The second-year receiver continues to be the team's new playmaker, catching five passes for a career-best 110 yards and one touchdown. Curiously, the score came on a 39-yard pass from WR Antwaan Randle El and gave the Steelers what appeared to be an insurmountable 27-7 lead. His other big catch came on a third-and-2 play in which he caught a 35-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to set up an 8-yard scoring pass to Hines Ward. "Every time you check the kid one-on-one, it's going to get ugly," Wallace said of his touchdown.
A quick look at the top performances from Monday's game:
1. BIG STRIP: After taking a 27-7 lead on a 39-yard scoring pass from Randle El to Wallace on the first play of the fourth quarter, the Steelers looked as if they would blow another big lead for the second year in a row in Paul Brown Stadium. But, on fourth-and-5 at the Steelers' 12 with 40 seconds remaining, Carson Palmer's pass for rookie WR Jordan Shipley was broken up at the 2 by LB James Harrison and CB Ike Taylor, who stripped the ball from his grasp. "James hit him, I pulled out the ball," Taylor said.
2. BIG PICK: After cutting the lead to 10-7, the Bengals stopped the Steelers and took over on their 30. But, on third-and-13, Palmer's pass for Owens was intercepted by LB Lawrence Timmons, the second takeaway of the half.
3. BIG RESULT: Three plays after Timmons interception, Roethlisberger hit Mike Wallace on a go route for 36 yards to the Bengals 9, setting up an 8-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward that gave the Steelers a 17-7 lead.
4. TDS FOR TO: Terrell Owens caught 10 passes for 141 yards and two TDs, but he had three catches for 47 yards on one drive -- the last a 27-yarder in which he beat CB Bryant McFadden to the back right corner of the end zone to make it 27-14.
5. TOUGH MISS: After tying his career high with a 53-yard FG at the end of the first half, Jeff Reed was wide left with a 46-yard attempt with 3:59 remaining that would have given the Steelers a 10-point lead -- only his second miss on the road in 2010.
WHAT WAS HE THINKING?
It was bad enough that Ben Roethlisberger floated a pass for TE Heath Miller that was intercepted by S Roy Williams at the Bengals' 49. But a 15-yard personal foul penalty on T Flozell Adams on the play was followed by a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty on NT Casey Hampton and a 20-yard pass-interference call on Ike Taylor, giving the Bengals 50 yards in penalties on three consecutive plays. Two plays later, Cedric Benson scored on a 1-yard run to make it 27-21 with 9:05 remaining.
"We won. I don't care how close the game was. We won, We won the game. We had to stand up on defense and that's what we did."
-- CB Ike Taylor, who had two pass interference penalties but broke up the final pass at the Steelers' 2.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: 157.5
Antwaan Randle El's career passer rating after his 39-yard scoring pass to Wallace made his career passing totals 21 of 26 for 320 yards and 5 touchdowns. It was his first TD pass with the Steelers since Super Bowl XL.
NEXT SUNDAY'S OPPONENT
vs. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 8:20 P.M. SUNDAY: After three consecutive road games, the Steelers return home to play New England -- the third prime-time game in a row for the Steelers. The Patriots have won three of the past four at Heinz Field.
Gerry Dulac: email@example.com
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