Week 13: Bengals-Steelers Chattin’ Thread

Every game from here on out is big. Also: let’s go Browns!

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  • Anonymous

    Not exactly an ideal start to this game.

  • Anonymous

    Of course, now the Bengals have started shooting themselves in the foot. False starts wipes out a TD, Delay of game negates a made field goal and the Steelers block the retry.

  • Anonymous

    Redman is a beast.

  • Anonymous

    Did I mention that Isaac Redman is a beast? Well, it doesn’t hurt to repeat it…

  • Anonymous

    TD, Mendenhall!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Mendenhall with another TD.

  • Anonymous

    Fumble on the kickoff!!!!!!!!! Steelers ball!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    TD, Wallace!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    You might want to try covering Green in the endzone, guys

  • Anonymous

    Why has Sanders replaced Brown on kickoff returns today?

  • Anonymous

    Good special teams there: great punt, good effort and tackle by Curtis Brown

  • Anonymous

    Soooo close to getting a pick there.

  • Anonymous

    Heh, nearly got a safety there. Still, the Steelers should have very good field position with a lot of time left

  • Anonymous

    Brown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    The downside, of course, is that now the Bengals get the ball back and there is still plenty of clock. Although, I think Cincy has used at least one of its timeouts already

  • Anonymous

    Sack!!!

  • Anonymous

    Clark with a near pick off a deflected pass on 3rd down.

  • Anonymous

    Nice run by Redman

  • Anonymous

    Wallace, TD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Incredible moves on that catch and run.

  • Anonymous

    Another sack for Harrison.

  • Anonymous

    Ben has passed up Bradshaw for most completions and most sacks in Steelers’ history in this game.

  • Anonymous

    Bruce Gradkowski time

  • Anonymous

    Oh my Tebow. Ike Taylor with an interception for the second week in a row. The end times are clearly here.

    • Astim

      Clearly this is a major sign of the apocalypse

  • Anonymous

    Charlie Batch time!

  • Cols714

    That was so much fun! Bring on the Brownies.

    • Anonymous

      I was away from a computer for the game but had a cell phone. Just wanted to say that despite not participating (a PITA on a phone), I liked the running commentary.

  • David

    Woooo, me and my hypertensive heart really needed a gamed like this.

    Only bad part was that Woodley was pulled very early on. Hope he is OK.

  • John Noh

    A+ for the special teams. When was the last time were able to say that, eh?

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Calig, good job holding down the fort. 

    Lots to like in this game.  This may sound crazy, but I felt like Mwelde’s run on 3rd and 23 was huge.  The sequence that followed, partially as a result of that play, put away the game.  Other than one punt, Kapinos looked great. 

    Unfortunately, the remaining schedules for the Ravens, Pats and Texans are pretty easy.  It is too bad we didn’t hold on for few more seconds in our second game against the Ravens.  The 5 seed looks pretty likely, although I’m holding out hope that the Ravens will lay at least one egg, The Yates era will produce at least one loss, we’ll run the table and get the 1 seed…

    • Cols714

      Yep. We win that Ravens game and we could have lost 2 games to go 12-4 but still win the AFC North.

      The way it looks, 13-3 may not even win the North for us. Onward…

      • Rob D

        It’s tough but fair. Your year often hinges on the divisional games. The Steelers stumbled against the Ravens and now have zero margin for error. I don’t think they will catch the Ravens now but I also think they are the best team in the division and possibly the conference.

        We haven’t seen the best from this team yet, I believe. Hopefully this Bengals win is the kickstart to a nice long playoff run.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    The time between games is a bit wacky down the stretch: 4 days until we host the Browns this Monday, then 11 days to go to SF on a Monday night, then 5 days to host the Rams on Christmas Eve Saturday, then 8 days to go to Cleveland on New Years Day Sunday.  That’s the most inconsistent run I can remember.  Fortunately, only the 49ers have been good this year.

  • Mike L

    Two weeks ago, Hines Ward needed 19 receptions to reach 1,000 for his career but with young money hitting their stride it was believed Ward would have to wait until next season if at all.  After two games he now only need 10 in the last 4 games (anyone think he won’t reach it now) which is easily within reach.  One thing I have learned being a Steelers fan is never write off any of their players.

    • Cols714

      Yeah. I was strongly sure that he wouldn’t get it, but it’s more likely now.

      • Rob D

        Great stuff..I think most of us want to see Hines integrated into the offense as long as he doesn’t push out some of the younger guys…and I thought they used him perfectly in this game. Might be one of Arians best called games. Can you believe our O-line protection? I can’t believe the improvement.

        Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown are demons on ST’s..In fact, our ST”s coverage is top notch. So, we have a quick strike offense..the running game looked damn good in this one and the D is a little up and down but has won the NE game we all wanted them to AND our ST’s look very very good.

        Not a bad resume if  they make it to the playoffs.And they will.

        As good a chance as ANY team to win it all..and probably a little better than most of them out there. Watching NO’s last night get scorched by the Lions pass game made me feel better about our chances overall. They have a better offense than us but  our D is much superior.

        Ok..thats enough blather for now.

  • Jason M

    In a post game interview, Woodley claimed that only playing part of the game was the plan all along. This was due to concerns of fatigue affecting his hamstring after so much time out of action. Worilds was spelling him when the game got out of hand for the Bengals, so they just kept him out the remainder. Woodley seemed confident that he would be good to go on Thursday, but of course we’d all rather see him at 100% against the 49ers in week 15.

    (video at steelers.com http://www.steelers.com/video-and-audio/videos/Players-Sound—Defense—vs-Bengals/95d4bb05-c702-4761-9ff0-78b7da94bb21)

  • Randy Steele

    Just to totally brag, but I was at the game yesterday (section 211, 50-yard line–not bad, eh?) and the place was deafening during the first half, particularly when the Bagles tried to score on their first series. The fans came out to play in that game, and I don’t doubt for a moment that they contributed to many of Cincinnati’s miscues.

    After the game I was standing outside with several dozen other Steeler fans beside the parking lot where many of the players keep their cars (which is up by section B), and Antonio Brown’s little boy (he’s probably about 3 years old) popped out of his dad’s Jeep and began high-five-ing the crowd. It was too much fun. He got me twice.

    • Rob D

      Hilarious, Randy. Saw him on TV..so cute.

      This game felt like the turning point where they finally hit on all cylinders. The crowd sounds LOUD on TV in surround so I can only imagine it live. Nothing like STeelers fans in full roar mode.

  • Randy Steele

    A small thought about Ben’s two sacks. Watching them live and in real time, they look almost gentle. When Ben is getting sacked, he curls himself around the ball and slowly kneels down to the ground. There was nothing violent about them at all, which I cannot say about some of the licks Andy Dalton took. (No wonder he was taken out in the fourth quarter.)

    This led me to think (hope?) that maybe Ben isn’t getting beaten up as badly as it seems on TV, and that maybe his career will last longer than a couple more years.

    • Anonymous

      When Ben sees a sack coming he can anticipate it. He’s a big, strong QB, so those hits usually end up a scramble tackle, which isn’t so bad, a hanger-on and a thrown ball, or a slow sack like losing an arm wrestling match. The harder hits are generally unanticipated or ones he eats in order to deliver the ball.

  • Cols714

    The OL and running game looks good at home. Bad on the road. We could really use a home playoff game.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Nice to see San Diego play well last night.  Hopefully, they’ll continue to roll when they host the Ravens on Sunday night, December 18.  We need the Ravens to lose either then or at Cincy in the final week, as I can’t imagine them losing at home against the Colts or Browns.  If the Ravens lose one, then the 1 or 2 seed is a real possibility for us.  But if they don’t, we’re almost certainly locked into the 5 seed.

    While we don’t want to settle for a 5 or 6 seed, there is an outside chance that we’ll clinch a playoff spot this weekend.  The only upset that needs to happen is for the Jets to lose to KC at home.  By beating the Browns, we’d clinch a better conference record than Oakland, and the Raiders will be big underdogs at Green Bay.  And we hold tiebreakers over TEN and CIN, who will be underdogs against the Saints and Texans.  We can’t clinch a spot over DEN this week, but with two wildcard slots, we can secure one of them.

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      Turns out that CIN is favored against the TJ Yates-led Texans.  And it is better for us if CIN wins so we can possibly be in line for the 1 seed. 

    • Cols714

      Yeah, but that assumes we finish 13-3. Which I don’t think is going to happen. 12-4 is much more likely.

      That stupid defensive call against the Ravens is going to lose us the division and with it a bye and a home playoff game.

      It’s hard to complain though, 12-4 would still be really good.

  • Hiddenaway

    What happened to this website?  There hasn’t been a podcast or post in over two weeks!  A little disappointed as I enjoy listening to you guys…

  • Rob D

    From Cold Hard Football Facts:

    5. When the Steelers blow someone out, the box score always looks the same.

    Pittsburgh now has almost a full season worth of 20+ point wins under
    Mike Tomlin – 15 of them since the start of the 2007 season.

    What do the wins have in common? Very few attempts for Ben
    Roethlisberger, even fewer mistakes, and usually a single-digit
    performance by the D.

    In the 14 blowout wins prior to Sunday, Big Ben threw an average of 25.1
    passes, and a total of four interceptions. And the defense allowed 7,
    3, 16, 0, 7, 17, 10, 10, 0, 3, 3, 9, 0 and 17 points.

    Sunday, it was 23 passes, no interceptions and seven points allowed,
    right in the Steelers’ wheelhouse. The game was a bit less one-sided in
    reality than it looked on paper, but it still fits right into the body
    of work like a glove.

    By the way, Roethlisberger’s career won-lost record is 78-32 in the
    regular season and 10-3 in the playoffs … yet the
    pro-football-reference.com “Fan EloRater”
    (worth spending a few hours with) has Big Ben ranked 412th all time
    between linebacker Jack “Hacksaw” Reynolds and former Falcons RB William
    Andrews.

    If there’s a more underrated huge star than Big Ben, we don’t know who it is.

    • GlennW

      I wouldn’t take that “Fan EloRater” at pro-football-reference.com (or the same thing at baseball-reference for that matter) as indicative of anything other than the result of a crude popularity contest.  Undoubtedly when Roethlisberger’s name pops up in one of the random head-to-head votes, he’s getting smacked down due to his off-field incidents.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Sucks about Hoke.  Good think McClendon has played pretty well.

    Also, Ted, I’d be interested in your take about the Steelers cap and roster implications of the reported new TV deals (with about a 50-65% increase in revenue from each deal).  Sounds like there could be some restructurings and balloon payments when the cap increases pretty dramatically in around 2015.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    How about a new thread so we don’t have “let’s go Browns!” at the top of the site?

  • Randy Steele

    Wow, guys. Not even a chat thread for the Thursday night game? Are you going dark?

    • Randy Steele

      Here’s my second complaint of the night: Why can’t 8 o’clock games start at 8 o’clock?

      • Randy Steele

        And my third complaint: Why does the Steelers’ defense always perform so pathetically on the first series of every game?

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

          I was wondering that after the game.  It is obviously something that happens almost every game.  I have never paid close enough attention to give a reason why but here is a potential theory:

          LeBeau plays it vanilla with a base defense to start until he determines what the opposing offense is trying to do.  This allows the other team to easily scheme and script their first drive.  LeBeau then adjusts.

          Is that a reasonable possibility?

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      I guess we can comment here.

      • Sarah

        Wow McCOy is the new ELway. WHo knew?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

      Yeah, this is getting really strange.  I can certainly understand that they do this on their free time and that they might be busy with their real jobs but I can’t believe that nobody has at least left a comment saying, “Sorry, we’re really busy but we’ll be back” or something. 

      The silence is becoming deafening. 

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Nice stop. And big.

  • Anonymous

    I have no idea what Hochuli saw on that replay. That was clearly a catch. No matter, the Steelers picked up the first down anyways.

  • Anonymous

    Hard to get Hines to his milestones if he’s going to cough up the football…

  • Anonymous

    Polamalu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    You’ve got be kidding me! Now Heath coughs it up… Geez.

  • Anonymous

    The defense looks like a joke tonight.

  • Anonymous

    Nice run by Mendenhall there. Get a little breathing room.

  • Anonymous

    Lovely. Ben is hurt.

  • Anonymous

    I have a very bad feeling about this game. I’m not too confident in Charlie Batch.

    • Sarah

      Despite the interception Troy has seemed lost out there a bunch of times. Bute here’s hoping the D keeps them out off the board for 2 more quarters cos that looks like the only way we’re winning this game.

  • Anonymous

    Pouncey is out, too.

    • Sarah

      Well let’s hope for a 7-3 W.

  • Anonymous

    Those fumbles by Ward and Miller really hurt. If the Steelers had gotten some points out of at least one of those drives, I’d feel a lot more confident that they could hold onto this lead.

  • Anonymous

    Well, it looks like Ben is coming back in to start the 2nd half.

  • Anonymous

    Gah. Take a shot deep, throw incomplete, Ben takes another hit, and you get called for holding.

  • Anonymous

    These receivers really got to help Ben out. Can’t be dropping catchable balls.

  • Anonymous

    It would figure that this is one of those games where the opposing punter repeatedly pins the Steelers deep. I think the Browns’ punter has had maybe one bad punt and 3 or 3 really good ones.

  • Anonymous

    I hate Kemoeatu. Penalty wipes out a good completion for Miller for a first down.

  • Anonymous

    Nice throw, nice catch by Brown to convert 3rd and 20!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    TD, Wallace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Gah,  He was down just short of the goal line.

  • Anonymous

    So, pound it with Redman 3(or 4) times?

  • Anonymous

    Or instead, 3 runs for no gain by Mendenhall…

  • Anonymous

    I would go for it.

  • Anonymous

    And they get stuffed on 4th down.

  • Anonymous

    Why do they refuse to use Redman at the goal line?

  • Anonymous

    I’m not really sure I trust the defense not to choke here. I can totally see McCoy driving 99 yards on them somehow.

    • Cols714

      You need to get some faith.

    • Cols714

      You need to get some faith.

  • ErikH

    Kick the damn field goal! Stupid!

  • Anonymous

    You know Cleveland is going to convert this 3rd down, probably by picking on an out of position Polamalu.

  • Anonymous

    Well, how about that. Little drops the first down.

  • Anonymous

    That’s a great time for a terrible punt. They have to come away with points here.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously. Release Kemo immediately after this game. Does he do anything other than take bad penalties?

  • Anonymous

    And Ben throws the pick…

  • Anonymous

    They are going to lose this game.

  • Anonymous

    And now Harrison with the costly helmet to helmet on McCoy….

  • ErikH

    Figures… I’m going to be ticked off if they end up losing this game by 3. Ben’s foot is falling off and they leave points on the field. Absurd.

  • Anonymous

    Sack!!!!

  • Anonymous

    William Gay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pick in the endzone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    How many plays before the next Kemo penalty?

  • Anonymous

    TD, Brown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

    Oh my God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    That seemed like a weak penalty on Gay.

  • Anonymous

    And that’s ballgame. It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win.

  • Randy Steele

    A heroic win. Heroic. Everything broke the wrong way for the Steelers but they pulled it out.
    I’m very proud of them.I’m so proud of them, in fact, that I won’t scream, demanding that Kemodufus be released for least another week.(Oh, and this was one of the poorest officiated games I’ve seen in quite awhile.)

    • Cols714

      Agreed completely. I think the refs were terrible. Especially the overturn of Brown’s catch and the penalty on Harrison.

      • Anonymous

        The TE false start that cause Kiesel to jump and get encroachment was weird.

        McCoy’s acting job actually drawing a flag when he and Farrior bumped out of bounds was really aggravating too. I hope he gets a fine for that, especially after last week’s flop.

        • Cols714

          I don’t think it was an act. I think he slipped and fell.

    • Cols714

      Agreed completely. I think the refs were terrible. Especially the overturn of Brown’s catch and the penalty on Harrison.

    • Cols714

      And the holding on William Gay.

      I think Ed H. just wants to be on TV all of the time. What a win.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Was holding my newborn daughter for most of the game so couldn’t comment.  And now I will exhale.

    • Anonymous

      Awww, that’s so sweet. I was doing the same. She doesn’t seem to have a rooting interest yet, but I know what to encourage.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    I’m glad Ben is alive.  Let’s heal up and knock off SF.

  • Steven Libenson

    It would be nice if people who get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to comment on football on TV to know more than at least half of the people who comment on this site.  At one point, one of the announcers said that Kemo was going to play center.  And Deion at half time said that Leftwich was on the roster and inactive and would be activated if Ben were to be out.  He asked the other panel guys if that was right and none of them corrected him.

    • Randy Steele

      Yes, all-in-all a truly pathetic TV crew, which nicely complemented the job done by the officials on the field.

      But I do think Mike Mayock is worth the price of admission.His analysis of Troy’s play last night was enlightening and spot-on. What is the deal with Troy this year? Has he ever made so many poor reads and miscalculations?And if I were a Cleveland Browns’ fan (thank God that didn’t happen), I would be totally dissed at what was generally a Pittsburgh-centric broadcast.Good, bad or indifferent, the commentary and analysis during the game was about almost always about the Steelers, which, of course, was fine with me.

      • David

        Yeah, Mayock was great. But I still hate when announcers talk, talk, talk and don’t give info, like Cribbs was injured in the 2nd and didn’t return, Ziggy was injured and didn’t return, etc. etc. Also, with 3 minutes left, they kept saying we won and now we’re 10-3. There were 3 friggin’ minutes left!

  • David

    Whew, all things considered, great win!

    I guess we know why Kemo was benched, huh?

  • David

    Question: McCoy was out of the pocket, fair game. RB’s get hit all the time in the head. On passes, WR’s are protected from head shots. WHY DID SILVERBACK GET A PENALTY???!!

    • GlennW

      Roughing the passer is applicable on any pass play, not just when the QB is in the pocket (see below).  McCoy had released the football and Harrison blasted him helmet to facemask.  That play is going to be penalized 100% of the time, and I have no complaint with that– even Ben draws that call in open space like that. (Ben finally did draw a roughing-the-passer call for that blow to the head early in the game.  Shocking!)

      “Roughing the passer rules apply on all passes (legal or illegal) thrown from behind the line of scrimmage (12-2-13).”HITS TO PASSER’S HEAD AND USE OF HELMET AND FACEMASK(3) In covering the passer position, Referees will be particularly alert to fouls in which defenders impermissibly use the helmet and/or facemask to hit the passer.A defensive player must not use his helmet against a passer who is ina defenseless posture for example, (a) forcibly hitting the passer’s head or neck area with the helmet or facemask, regardless of whether the defensive player also uses his arms to tackle the passer by encircling or grasping him, or (b) lowering the head and making forcible contact with the top/crown or forehead/”hairline” parts of the helmet against any part of the passer’s body.

  • Cols714

    I watched the Antonio Brown interview after the game. Man that guy just looks like he’s going to be a huge star.

    I love Mike Wallace. But right now, Brown is the #1 receiver on this team. What a fantastic player.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

      Brown has certainly exceeded expectations but we should not ignore the very real fact that Wallace draws coverage away from the rest of the receivers.  To Brown’s credit, he has done an excellent job of beating the single coverage he ends up with. 

  • Cols714

    I watched the Antonio Brown interview after the game. Man that guy just looks like he’s going to be a huge star.

    I love Mike Wallace. But right now, Brown is the #1 receiver on this team. What a fantastic player.

  • Cols714

    I’m also wondering why Kemo is still on the team. He’s awful.

  • David

    You know what? Wallace’s knee was not down. Take a look at the side angle.

    But, who cares, we won, right? But I do hate it when the ref overturns a call without 100% irrefutable evidence.

    • GlennW

      That’s what I thought also.  Mayock was using the grass kicking up as his evidence, but that came from Wallace dragging his foot.  I don’t think possibly (only possibly) grazing a few blades of grass constitutes being down.  In any case, Ed Hochuli *twice* overruled a call without “indisputable evidence”, as far as I’m concerned.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

        That is my only gripe with instant reply.  Refs constantly ignore what should be a high threshold for over turning calls. 

  • Canadian Steeler

    I know people will complain not using Redman at the goal line, but I can’t imagine he gets in either. Mendenhall was running with a head of steam and he just got popped. It was a nice play by Gocong. I was hoping for a QB sneak on fourth down, but can understand why they elected not to.

    All in all, we’re finding ways to win. We lost the turnover battle again, left anywhere from 9 to 21 points on the board, had our quarterback (and let’s be honest, our offense) on one leg the entire second half, were down our best lineman, yet we still won by double digits. Everything that needed to happen for the Browns to pull off the upset happened (short of a special teams touchdown), and we pulled it out. I’d obviously prefer to give my heart a rest and have every week by like last week, but a win’s a win, especially on a short week.

    Now let’s just hope Ben will be alright for San Francisco. I still think if we win there, we’ve got the division. Ravens haven’t been a good road team all year and they’ve got two tough ones left. Across the country to a Chargers team who (hopefully, for our sake) are making another late season run, and at Cincy, who will probably need a win the last week to make the playoffs. Still not over yet.

  • Randy Steele

    Love this comment from Dale Lolley about last night’s performance by Kemoeatu:

    “Chris Kemoeatu should be cut, re-signed, and then cut again.”

    • Cols714

      That’s awesome. And true. They have to have a better option for backup LG. It’s not like Kemo gives any positional flexibility either.

  • Cols714

    People are going to complain about the goal line stand. But I thought that Mendenhall hit those “holes” as hard as he could.

    It should also be noted that this Browns team, for as easy as it is to run on them, have had these type of goal line stands vs the 49ers and Bengals this year as well.

    Maybe it’s their one team strength.

  • David

    Mendy hit the holes. Our O-line was the problem.

    But I agreed with the call at the time. Go for it, and make them drive 99 yds if we fail.

    It was not like the playoffs many years ago vs. NE when we were up 7-6 at the 1 and failed to score.

  • David

    Notable season stats:

    Wallace, 1034 receiving yds
    Brown, 925 receiving yds
    Ben, 3526 passing yds, 21 TD, 11 INT, 95.6 rating
    Mendy, 710 rushing yds
    Giveaways/Takeways, -7