Week 16 Game Thread: Cincinnati Bengals

Sorry I forgot to put up a Week 15 game thread, but to my credit, I had been suspended last week for conduct detrimental to the team. I’m back now and I will be active today, so there’s that.

In related news: I’D LOVE TO SEE A STEELERS GAME IN WHICH THE  THE SKILL-POSITION PLAYERS DIDN’T HAVE 10 TURNOVERS.

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  • djanyreason

    Ryan is jinxing us to have 15 turnovers this week. You heard it here first.

    • Sarah

      GAH. Speaking of turnovers….

  • calig23

    Wait, what? That stupid bow and arrow thing Kiesel does is now a penalty? I hate the NFL

    • djanyreason

      This. + infinity.

  • calig23

    Stupid pass by Ben. How did he not see the defender?

  • David

    Oh, joy…

  • calig23

    So, according to Phil Simms, the Redskins and Robert Griffin started the concept of play fakes. Uh…… huh?

    • Rob D

      Phil says more head scratching-ly stupid things in an hour than most people manage in a year. That’s why he gets the big money!

  • calig23

    I think Ben could have picked up the first if he just dove forward.

    And now they miss a chip shot FG.

    This team deserves to lose.

    • Canadian Steeler

      I don’t normally criticize play calling, but that was pretty ridiculous spreading out on 3rd and short after Redman had 2 conversions already.

  • calig23

    Brown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • calig23

    Good way to start the second half; Cortez Allen with a pick. Now take advantage guys!

  • calig23

    So much for that. They won’t even get a field goal

  • calig23

    And a touchback, of course.

  • Rob D

    Remember..it’s only pre-season so they’ll probably pick up a punter later and they’ll have to scour the league for some actual special teams players. The offense looks plodding and slow but come on..it’s early and they are just getting their legs back.

    This sarcasm brought to you by a bitter Steeler fan…REALLY enjoying the lack of no huddle in this one…we wouldn’t want to put up points or anything like that.

    :)

    • calig23

      Additionally, once the preseason is over, I’m sure Tomlin will stop making suspect challenges. Sure he won it, but so what? It’s 3rd and inches.

  • calig23

    Hampton jumps offsides to give them the first down anyways.

  • Rob D

    This might be the game that helps Haley out the door to a HC position. EVerything about this offense is predictable… YOu only have to defend a 4 yd area for the most part and the LONG handoffs are from the 50′s. I really wanted to like Haley but he’s managed to take one of the great QB improvisors and put him into a box where he’s throwing into extremely tight windows with little margin for error.

  • calig23

    I’m guessing this the drive that the defense implodes and they can’t recover from..

  • calig23

    The fact that the Bengals actually came close to converting that 4th and 22 is inexcusable.

  • calig23

    Get in the redzone, start going backwards. What else is new?

  • calig23

    I’m officially done with Todd Haley. That series was absolutely absurd. The 3rd down call was just cowardly.

  • Canadian Steeler

    The defense deserves to go out back and beat up the offense after this game. Why call a DEEP handoff to Mendenhall short yardage?

    • Canadian Steeler

      I’ll admit it looked like an audible, but the entire offense (Haley, Ben, line) has just been putrid.

  • calig23

    Yay for the chuck it long and hope for a flag offense.

    How is that worse than what happened to Wallace on that one play in the first half that didn’t get called?

  • calig23

    Clark!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • calig23

    I’m sure this will get overturned, because that’s how this season has gone.

  • calig23

    Fumble is upheld, Steelers’ ball. Now don’t waste this opportunity!!

  • calig23

    And they waste it. Of course.

  • calig23

    Allen with another interception.

  • Canadian Steeler

    Cortez with his third (!!) turnover of the game. Come on offense!

  • calig23

    This offense just isn’t good.

    • Rob D

      No, it isn’t. We’ve had a lot of o-line shuffles and our RB by committee has had mixed results. But I expected to see a very potent throwing game with the talent available..lots of hurry up and no huddle..bang bang plays. Either our talent is overrated (Sanders, Brown, Wallace, Miller, et al) or its coaching. I think it’s coaching and yes…the injuries we’ve endured yet again this year.

      Other areas like ST’s might as well have yellow tape around it…it’s a disaster. I wish we knew the full story of what happened with our ST’s coach cause it’s probably cost us a playoff berth this year.

      Bottom line….the Steelers look more like a Cowher era team..13 pts and hope you win by controlling the game with the run, playing stout D and winning the field position battle with the ST’s. Except they don’t have a running game,OR ST’s..Just a bad year for a team whose coach preaches the standard is the standard. They upheld very few standards this year except for mediocrity, inconsistency and the inability to stay healthy. I think they need a better conditioning coach, a new OC (Haley is probably getting a HC job anyway) and don’t be surprised if Lebeau steps down.

      Should be an interesting offseason..For the first time Tomlin will be under a lot of pressure to bounce back after a failure of a season. He’s , IMO…a potential great HC but he needs to improve in many areas. He looked befuddled a lot this year..and I join him in knowing how that feels. I thought they’d win 12 games…sheesh..

  • calig23

    How the heck does Green get wide open along the sideline like that?

  • calig23

    Titans currently losing 55-0 to Green Bay. The Steelers lost to the Titans.

  • calig23

    Not thrilled with a FG attempt here….

  • calig23

    It’s short. Dumb call.

  • calig23

    Geez….. Ben throws another dumb pick…

  • calig23

    Well, that’s ballgame. Tomlin, Haley, and Ben lost this game for the Steelers.

  • Canadian Steeler

    That was, in my (short) memory, the worst offensive performance I’ve ever seen from a Steelers team. I feel sorry for the defense. They were incredible.

    • David

      Well, I can think of several others–this year. CLE, for one.

      It’s just this year was one of those years–nothing goes right and the ball bounces the wrong way. Sucks.

  • awlcohen

    Rooneys have some tough decisions this offseason. Time for Lebeau to retire? Halley a one season OC? Time to get a big FA tackle? Tomlin has got to be on a short leash. I assume another season like this and he is toast.

    • Canadian Steeler

      Take a walk. Most of that is overreaction. I don’t know how anyone could watch the defense today and conclude that Lebeau should retire.

      This is Tomlin’s first non-winning season, and the Steelers have had 3 coaches since 1969. There is no way either of them leave any time soon unless they choose to.

      We won’t sign a big FA tackle, because we’re the Steelers, but it is important to remember that the two tackles deemed to be the future were injured the majority of the season.

      Haley I could care less about. The offense seemed to get worse as the year went on, but I don’t want Ben to have to learn an entirely new offense.

      • Rob D

        Agreed..but the speculation around Lebeau is warranted. I think Keith Butler turned down that DC position with the Colts because he was told he’d be in line to be DC with the STeelers. Butler is not a spring chicken..his time is now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dick stay on for another year but I think even in that case, Butler is going to have more say in what happens on the field. Has there ever been a co-DC situation in Pittsburgh?

        Tomlin is here for years to come. He is still a young pup by coaching standards and certainly not perfect, nor immune from criticism. But I believe in the guy and his ability to work harder to overcome his shortcomings. Now comes an offseason of taking stock. He needs to improve his in game decision making. We all know it…he’d better do it. My money’s on Mike..

        Haley might be taking a HC position..so it might be academic that he won’t be back. Kugler gone and I hope they bring in a technician who can teach the likes of DeCastro, Pouncey, Adams, et al the ropes. WE have a pretty good collection of talent now along the line which should bode well for us and BB down the line.

        ST’s coach Amos Jones, conditioning coaches, all in jeopardy. A lot of guys like Casey and Keisel, seemed to start extremely slowly this year. We don’t have the luxury of not having the entire team at the starting line in this version of the NFL. EArly losses hurt us badly and part of it seemed to be players not ready to play. Time to crack the whip and insist on a level of conditioning for every single player that meets up with the season opener.

        Year one of Ben’s prime years was pretty much a failure. One down, 4 to go. The Steelers have to nail the draft and I really think they need to dip into the FA pool. It’s murder on the sal cap but after Ben, they aren’t going to be worried about it too much. The time is now for the risk/reward of reaching out to vet players to get us through the next few years. We need a pass rusher desparately..and if Mendy and Wallace leave..a starting RB and deep threat. Going to be tough to find just in the draft, IMO.

  • Steve

    A full season (?) without a podcast. No playoffs for you!

    Time to start throwing some irrational and illogical bombs to get one going. I say we draft a R1 running back (Ryan, call the office). Debate whether BB’s successor is in high school or college (I’d hope for preschool). Cap management. Fire Tomlin now. Bring back Whiz for OC.

    Anyone have other (read: better) suggestions that could ignite a podcast?

    • Rob D

      Yep…I says we draft running backs in round one and two!

      (if that doesn’t get Ryan riled ..nothing will)

  • ErikH

    I feel so bad for the defense. I guess they should have realized they would need to score the points as well as stop the Bengals. I have no clue what the offense needs to do. Honestly, it just seems like they need to practice basic ball protection and receiving skills.
    This has been such a dissapointing season. It would be one thing if we knew they were bad coming into it. It feels a lot worse when you are know they are better but just keep screwing up.

  • David

    So who ya got? I’m voting for a HOU-ATL SB. Won’t happen.

    Worst case SB? BAL-DAL.

    That would be nightmarish

    • Rob D

      New England/ Seattle
      How’s that for nauseating? I’d really have to consider rooting for ..who? My brain might explode or at least what’s left of it after this abortion of a Steelers season.

      Denver/ Green Bay
      I think I like this one better. Root for Denver to bring it on home. Nice team they have. Twin pass rush guys In Miller and Elvis..Pey Pey…Good to great ST’s..

      I really don’t think Hou or Atl will be a factor..so that probably means it’lll happen. lol..

      I think your Bal/Dall IS the worst case scenario..now that I think of it.

  • Rob D

    In the Seattle/9ers game last night, they were mentioning how important the loss of Justin Smith was to the 9ers pass rush and how everybody benefits from his play. He needs to be double teamed a lot and applies a lot of lateral pressure off the snap that simply moves Olinemen out of position. Then the LB’s feed.

    I gave out a big sigh…lol…I believe we lost the same thing when Aaron Smith got too old and injured. I don’t know if we have a player like that on the roster now. Ziggy seems to be just another guy..decent but blockable on most downs. Heyward might have it but it’s too early too tell and he didn’t get enough snaps this year to indicate just how high his ceiling is. McClendon is all effort type but he’s pretty bad against the run..

    I think an impact DE is on the draft list and that’s kind of disappointing since we took Hood and Heyward already.

    Then there;s OLB…gah!..Scares me to death thinking about Woodley’s chronic hamstring problems and Harrision being 105 in football years. Worilds? Don’t see it…

    One more game…I hope they win and get on the good foot for next year. One of these years we’ll stay healthy..that would be a change of pace.

  • Cols714

    There is going to be tons of ink spilled about what went wrong with our season this year. But really I think it comes down to:
    1. Injuries
    2. Defense not quite in shape at the beginning of the year.

    • Rob D

      3. Offense still a work in progress with no running game in sight. After Art II and Co. insistence that we be able to run the ball when we absolutely have to and the firing of Bruce over this very issue, they may have been even worse this year. AGree that injuries are the prime culprit here but still..we should have been better. You watch some of the better O’s in the league and just want to hide your head in shame. Imagine this team in the playoffs without Heath….ai yi yi..They’d struggle to put up 10 pts.

      • Rob D

        4. ST’s—- this team lost the field position battle all year long. Penalties, fumbles, poor blocking, coaching.

        • Cols714

          This is a good point. While I don’t feel like we gave up a ton of long returns, we lost the field position in seemingly all of our games. The offense was starting almost every drive inside their own 20.

          As for the rest, I think a non-injured Ben would have been enough this year to make the playoffs and I think that next year with a season of the Haley offense, the new OL getting better and more experienced, and less injuries and the offense will look much better.

          Defensively I think we are also going to be OK. The young CBs look great, Timmons was pretty awesome this year and the DL seemed to get better as the season wore on. I think it’s going to come down to whether or not Harrison and Woodley can get back to their 2010 level and whether or not Troy can be healthy.

          Big questions yes, but as usual, I think that anyone throwing dirt on this team or saying we need to start over and rebuild (whatever that means) is way off.

          • Rob D

            Indeed, Cols…I have been reading a lot around the web and had to stop..so much of Steeler Nation is in full panic/fire/trade everybody mode. Sheesh..

            We have been in transition for quite a while. I have a lot of hope with the likes of Keenan, Cortez, Curtis at CB, Heyward at DE, LOVE most of the new O-line guys like DeCastro, Adams and Gilbert meshing with Pouncey. There’s real talent to build on and agree another year will help tremendously with Haley (assuming he isn’t run out of town or that the rumours of him taking a HC job with KC (again) aren’t true.

            Watching the collapse of the Giants this year, how NO fared without their HC and other teams struggling makes you realize how little it takes to go from contender to pretender. It’s a very fine line in the NFL and there’s no reason why we won’t scale the heights next year and be back in the familiar position of SB contender.

      • Canadian Steeler

        Definitely agree with this. I was mostly in favour with Arians leaving because I think Arians’ offense was guilty of leaving points on the field. But I was definitely wrong. This year’s offense was, in my eyes, pretty similar to previous seasons, but without the downfield passing game. Since the deep pass game was the highlight of Arians offense, that says all you need to know about Haley’s offense in 2012.

        Like I said, I wouldn’t mind him leaving, but am concerned with Ben having to start over with a new offense for the second time in two years. For what it’s worth, in Arizona, Haley’s offense improved significantly in 2008, his second year there (also the year they made the Super Bowl). Warner did play 2 more games in 2008, but it does give you some pause.

        Their rushing game was last in the league, but that could have just as much to do with a declining Edgerrin James. By DVOA, they went from -0.8% (18th) in 2007 to 11.9% (10th) in 2008.

        I wouldn’t complain with Haley leaving and replacing him with a Fichtner who would run an offense similar to Arians, but I don’t think it has to be done to have a successful team next year.

        • Rob D

          There ARE so many factors to consider when it comes to evaluating a team or a coach. I don’t think I have the knowledge to state anything categorically but I don’t think the Steelers will be happy with Haley and probably the YMC, the running backs or for that matter, Big Ben. I’m willing to give Haley another shot at this. Cols No. 1 reason for our bad season…injuries..is really the reason why I feel that way. If the O-line jells early and these young kids start having the light come on..we could have one of the best O-lines we’ve had in years. Starks, Foster, Pouncey, DeCastro and Adams…Gilbert in reserve and probably a candidate for LT..they seem to be taking the position seriously and I expect a few FA’s to contribute next year.

  • Butcher

    Steelers need a true leader and a Q that fights for the wins cuz I’m sick of seeing this over paid punk kid getting credit for the true talent that has made him look good all these years….Ben your a punk and ya ain’t no Brady.