Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bengals Best Steelers 20-10: Offense Comes Up Small Yet Again

Steelers Now 0-2 With Loss To Bengals For The First Time Since 2002

If you want to understand what happened in last night's Steelers loss to the Bengals all you have to do is 1-review the stats, and 2-go back to the previous post and re-read the commentary by Ron Cammarata. In short, as Ron summarized last night's game this morning: "16 carries for 45 yards. Put themselves into situations where they must run offense out of the gun...but no juice in that offense...just too predictable. 34 plays out of the gun...19 under center. Moved the ball well under center...ie big pass to Paulson that he fumbled. Ben overthrew everyone most of the game." Again, go back to the Ron's commentary. After reading it, last night's outcome should have come as no surprise.

Game Stats:

Steelers passed 70% of the time to 30% rushing (Didn't we hear proclamations about more "balance" in the pre-season?). Bengals time of possession was almost a full 11 minutes longer than the Steelers. Steelers had 14 first downs to the Bengals 22 (almost a factor of 2-1 over the Steelers).

Ben was 20/37 for 251 yards. The rushing performance was anemic (officially ended with 47 yards and that included 6 yards by Ben). Bengals rushed for 127 yards. Redman's performance was not that at the level of an NFL running back (4 total yards. In the last two weeks, Redman's rushed for a pathetic 12 yards on 10 carries ). In fact, this was the eighth straight Steelers game with fewer than 100 rushing yards. 

Again, turnovers hurt the Steelers. They had two turnovers while in scoring range (Paulson that led to a Bengal TD and a Roethlisberger interception). In addition, they failed to get a first down in seven of their 12 possessions. The offensive line continues to have a problem with enabling the run and protecting Roethlisberger. Losing Pouncey is a big factor and will probably continue to be.

What we're left with this season (unless we see improvement quickly) is a team that can't run the ball, a quarterback who does not appear to understand his performance is better when he's under center rather than out of the gun and an O line that still can't protect the quarterback.

That, my friends, is a formula for disaster.

Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013.  Bears at Steelers 8:30 p.m. ET

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