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Old 09-28-2009, 07:05 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Bungle in the jungle: Bengals bite Steelers 23-20

Bungle in the jungle: Bengals bite Steelers 23-20
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By: Mike Bires -
Beaver County Times
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sp...ers-23-20.html

Monday September 28, 2009 01:50 AM

CINCINNATI - In their long history, the Steelers have suffered their share of unfathomable losses. But the one Sunday may trump them all.

In botching what should have been an easy win, the Steelers self-destructed in too many ways to count. And because they did, they are a team in trouble.

Throughout the preseason, the Steelers promised they would not have a Super Bowl hangover. Well, after three games, this is one hung-over football team.

This looks like 2006 all over again.

In their last Super Bowl defense, the Steelers got off to a 1-2 start en route to missing the playoffs. Well, here they are again, 1-2 after a crushing 23-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

How could they blow a 13-0 lead after racking up a whopping 207-to-minus-10 advantage in total yards after the game's first three possessions?

By collapsing in the second half, that's how.

A miscommunication between Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes allowed Cincinnati cornerback Jonathan Joseph to return an interception 30 yards for a TD early in the third quarter.

On the Steelers' next possession, Limas Sweed dropped what should have been a 34-yard TD pass. On the next snap, Jeff Reed, the goat last week in Chicago when he missed two field goals, missed a 52-yarder.

Then in the fourth quarter, the once-proud Steelers' defense just broke down.

When it mattered most, the defense allowed the Bengals to score touchdowns on their last two possessions. The first of those two drives went 85 yards. The second was a 71-yard march in which Carson Palmer kept the drive alive with two fourth-down completions. Palmer then won it with a TD pass with 14 seconds left.
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The 2009 defense is light years away from last year's top-ranked defense.


"That was bad, wasn't it?" free safety Ryan Clark said dejectedly. "Yes, that was bad football."

It was pathetic football for a team that supposedly was stacked to make another serious run deep into the postseason tournament.

After losing in Cincinnati for the first time since 2001, the Steelers offered up all kinds of reasons and excuses for their meltdown. They all sounded so hollow.

"It's always the little things," cornerback Deshea Townsend said.

"It's not mental mistakes, it's physical mistakes," linebacker James Farrior.

"We didn't have everybody on the same page," wide receiver Hines Ward said.

"We shot ourselves in the foot," Roethlisberger said.

"Everybody has to hold themselves accountable," running back Willie Parker said.

It's all of the above and more.

The bottom line is that right now, the Steelers are not a very good team.


Mike Bires can be reached online at mbires@timesonline.com
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Bungle in the jungle: Bengals bite Steelers 23-20

Steelers collapse in loss to Bengals
9/28/2009 6:56 AM
By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer, dlolley@observer-reporter.com
http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/...-Bengals-gamer

CINCINNATI - With the game on the line for a second consecutive week and the league's top-rated defense in 2008 on the field, the Pittsburgh Steelers seemed poised to win for the ninth season in a row in Cincinnati.

For the second consecutive week, the defense faltered, this time allowing Cincinnati to rally from a 20-9 deficit to beat the Steelers, 23-20, here at Paul Brown Stadium.

The loss was reminiscent of the team's failure to hold a 14-7 fourth quarter lead in a 17-14 loss to Chicago last week. Cincinnati scored on a 23-yard Cedric Benson run with 9:14 remaining, then added a 4-yard Carson Palmer-to-Andre Caldwell touchdown pass with 14 seconds left to pull out the victory.

"We strive to be a great defense and make those plays," Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel said. "If we don't start making them, it's going to be a long year."

The final possession was particularly bad, as the Steelers (1-2) permitted the Bengals (2-1) to convert two fourth-down plays deep in Pittsburgh territory to keep the drive alive.

The first was a five-yard pass to Laveraneus Coles on fourth-and-two from the Pittsburgh 20 with one minute remaining. The second came on fourth-and-10 at the 15 with 36 seconds left in the game when Palmer tossed the ball short of the marker to running back Brian Leonard, who dove out of the tackle of linebacker James Farrior to get the first down.

"To have a lead and blow it like that two weeks in a row is very frustrating," said Farrior. "We've got to find a way to make a play when we need one."

The Steelers did whatever they wanted on offense in the first half - except score touchdowns.

Ben Roethlisberger, who threw for 276 yards, tossed a 27-yard touchdown pass to running back Willie Parker after avoiding a tackle attempt by Robert Geathers and pulling linebacker Rey Maualuga off coverage on Parker when he came up to the line of scrimmage. But two other long drives ended with Jeff Reed field goals of 19 and 24 yards as the Steelers built a 13-0 lead.

It could have been much more.

Parker, who had 93 yards rushing on 25 carries, was stopped on third-and-goal from the one to force the first field goal. Rookie Mike Wallace stepped out of bounds at the Cincinnati 10 following a 51-yard catch prior to the second field goal.

Wallace finished with seven receptions for 102 yards, both career highs.

Following the second Reed field goal, the Steelers held a 207 to minus 10-yard advantage in total yards with 12:44 remaining in the second quarter.

"If we score touchdowns in the first half, it's not even a game," Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said. "It's 24-0 or 24-3. It's not very good. You've got to put up seven points instead of threes. That's how you finish a team off."

Cincinnati finally gained some yards and picked up a first down on its next possession, but was forced to punt from the Pittsburgh 43.

The Steelers again mounted a drive, moving from their 14 to the Cincinnati 35. But head coach Mike Tomlin elected to go for a first down rather than punt on fourth-and-five with 1:15 left in the half. The Steelers turned the ball over on downs when Roethlisberger threw incomplete to Santonio Holmes.

"We felt like we were moving the ball well and could score a touchdown there," said Tomlin.

Instead, it gave the Bengals the life they needed, as they took the ball to the Pittsburgh 16 before settling for a 34-yard Shayne Graham field goal on the final play of the half to cut the Steelers' lead to 13-3.

Cincinnati carried that momentum over to the second half, as cornerback Johnathan Joseph intercepted a Roethlisberger pass intended for Holmes and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown on Pittsburgh's first possession. The snap on the point after attempt sailed over holder Kevin Huber's head, however, and the Bengals were forced to settle for six points instead of seven, cutting the Steelers' lead to 13-9.

Roethlisberger quickly made up for the mistake, ending a 75-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak to give the Steelers a 20-9 lead with three minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Odds and end zones

Ward had four receptions for 82 yards that moved him past the 10,000-yard receiving mark for his career. He's the first Steelers player to accomplish the feat. ... Rookie tight end David Johnson started at fullback for the Steelers, because Tank Summer, the Steelers' fullback in their first two games, was inactive. ... Johnson suffered a sprained ankle in the first quarter and did not return. ... Roethlisberger's third quarter touchdown run was the 12th of his career, the most of any quarterback since 2004. ... Washington's Gene Steratore was the umpire in the game.

Copyright Observer Publishing Co.
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Bungle in the jungle: Bengals bite Steelers 23-20

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Bungle in the jungle: Bengals bite Steelers 23-20


The bottom line is that right now, the Steelers are not a very good team.


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Old 09-28-2009, 10:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Bungle in the jungle: Bengals bite Steelers 23-20

"The bottom line is that right now, the Steelers are not a very good team."

No, they are not. It's about time someone came out and said it. This team is not very good. I've come to grips with that before the Chargers demolish us at Heinz next week.

Good football teams find ways to win. Good teams put the gas on shitty teams like the Bengals and Bears. The Steelers for the past two weeks find ways to lose. If we can't beat teams that suck, then god forbid we play the first good team we've played in weeks.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bungle in the jungle: Bengals bite Steelers 23-20

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"The bottom line is that right now, the Steelers are not a very good team."

No, they are not. It's about time someone came out and said it. This team is not very good. I've come to grips with that before the Chargers demolish us at Heinz next week.
Good! Does that mean you won't be gracing us with your presence to whine, piss, bitch and moan endlessly like you always do?
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bungle in the jungle: Bengals bite Steelers 23-20

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The bottom line is that right now, the Steelers are not a very good team.
That's where I disagree. We are basically the same team that won a Superbowl.

They are just not playing like a very good team right now.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Bungle in the jungle: Bengals bite Steelers 23-20

In botching what should have been an easy win, the Steelers self-destructed in too many ways to count. And because they did, they are a team in trouble.

Agree with the first part, but can't quite agree with the second. If we were playing this way in December, definitely spot on, but it's way too early to start with the doom and gloom...
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: Bungle in the jungle: Bengals bite Steelers 23-20

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Good! Does that mean you won't be gracing us with your presence to whine, piss, bitch and moan endlessly like you always do?
When the team stops giving people like us a reason not to complain and doubt them, unlike now, yes I will stop whining, bitching, and moaning. Even if we won ugly yesterday, I could care less. But we lost in Cleveland Brown-esque embarrassing fashion for the second week in the row, so yeah. Doubt and bashings on the team will be dished out accordingly.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:05 PM   #9
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Even if we won ugly yesterday, I could care less.
Gotta call BS on that one.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:17 PM   #10
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Gotta call BS on that one.
Call it whatever you like, 76. It's up to you wether you want to believe it or not. I'm not going to try to convince you of otherwise.
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