Well that’s more like it Cincinnati, nothing like the bright lights of Monday Night Football to invigorate a team coming off a week 1 loss. The Bengals defeated their rival the Pittsburgh Steelers in fine defensive fashion, winning 20-10.
This is the first time the Pittsburgh Steelers have gone 0-2 to start the season since 2002. The Bengals defense was all over the Steelers, but let’s not forget the fact that many of their offensive players were injured. I’m not taking anything from the Bengals D – it’s one of the best in the league – but having a large portion of your offense injured makes it easier for a team like Cincy to pounce-y.
On the offensive side, the rookies showed the Monday Night Football fans how bright the future and even the present is with TE Tyler Eiffert, who made a 61-yard catch in the game that lead to rookie running back Giovanni Bernard scoring a TD in the same drive. Bernard would score another touchdown later in the game, this time on the receiving end of a nice throw by QB Andy Dalton. The Steelers did a good job at containing wide receiver AJ Green at bay thanks to a find effort from Ike Taylor. He finished with 41 yards and no TDs, but it can be argued that by making AJs life harder it opened up the field for guys like Bernard, which will prove to teams down the road that defending this Bengals offense will be much more difficult than it used to be.
Cincinnati made the Steelers defense, which is and will be a perennially tough D so long as Dick LeBeau is there, look weak as the Bengals held the ball for 35 minutes during the game and had over 400 yards. Andy Dalton had a decent game, though not spectacular, throwing for 280 yards with a TD, going 25-45 during the game. He had no interceptions against him so I deem this a good game.
One thing that caught my eye is that the Bengals didn’t seem to learn from the Chicago Bears loss on week one as the Bengals had 9 penalties against them for 84 yards lost, while Pittsburgh only had 3 for 29 yards lost. Coach Marvin Lewis needs to wake these guys up when it comes to the penalties, because they can prove costly down the road against other teams who aren’t as injured and who could easily capitalize on penalties.
One of those teams who could take advantage of that situation is the Green Bay Packers who the Bengals will face in week 3, unlike the older and injured Steelers. The Packers could make life very difficult for the Bengals if they don’t learn from mistakes that were made in week 1 and 2, but for now it’s time for the team and the fans to enjoy their victory over the rival Steelers.
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