Steelers Fall to Bengals 24-10
[Pittsburgh,PA] Whenever the Pittsburgh Steelers lose a game, their objective is to learn from their mistakes, apply it to the next week and get a win. Such was the case when they lost to the Las Vegas Raiders a week ago and when they welcomed the Cincinnati Bengals to Heinz Field for an early AFC North matchup Sunday Unfortunately, their objective did not work out as planned as the Steelers also lost to the Bengals 24-10, dropping their record to 1-2.
“Hey, let’s not sugarcoat it: We played poorly” Said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin “We have to resolve to be better. That’s what we just talked about in there. We played poorly today. We didn’t deserve to win and that’s not taking anything away from the Bengals. I’m talking about our group and the things that we aspire and how we expect to play. We didn’t play smart enough today. That was reflected in the penalty game. We didn’t execute enough today, making routine plays, routinely. We dropped the ball. We gave up a deep ball in situational play.
There is enough to go around, and we take responsibility for that. That’s when you do when you play losing football, and that’s what we did today.” It was not one of the Steelers better performances against a Bengals team that they had not lost to at home since 2015 (15-10) but it is also the second consecutive time the Steelers lost the Bengals overall as they were beaten 27-17 last season in Cincinnati.
The concerns about the Steelers offensive line were confirmed in this game as they were unable to provided opportunities for rookie RB Najee Harris (14 carries, 40 yards, 2.9 yards/carry) or QB Ben Roethlisberger (sacked 4 times). The line was also penalized several times as well. “We’ve got to clean up our penalties. I know we’ve got to make routine plays routinely.” Said Tomlin “You’re an easy team to beat when you play like that.”
For the second straight week, the Steelers defense also had it’s struggles as they gave up 3 TDs to Bengals 2nd year QB Joe Morrow (14/18, 172 yards, 3 TDs, Int) who threw two to rookie WR Ja’Marr Chase and one to former Pitt Panther WR Tyler Boyd. RB Joe Mixon also left his mark on the Steelers D as he rushed 18 times for 90 yards. (5.0 yards/carry) The Steelers defense were also unable to get to Morrow as they failed to register a sack for the first time in 75 games.
The unit missed All-Pro LB TJ Watt and 2nd -year man Alex Highsmith as they recovered from injures. Although they got a first-quarter interception from S Terrell Edmunds, it was truly a frustrating day for the Steelers defense, as well as Roethlisberger and the offense.
“None of us played well enough, him (Roethlisberger) included. None of us coached well
enough, Me included.”-Said Tomlin.
The Steelers veteran QB did all he could to get his team back into the game, but it was to no avail as he passed for 318 yards (38/58), but his 2 interceptions were very costly as they put the Bengals into scoring position, which they turned into 14 points. The Steelers only points came on a 2nd quarter TD from Roethlisberger to rookie TE Pat Freiermuth (his first NFL TD) and a 26-yard FG by K Chris Boswell, but the Steelers were
unable to generate anymore points.
The rookie Harris recorded his first 100-yard game of his NFL career, but it was as a receiver. He led the Steelers with 14 receptions for 102 yards. WR Chase Claypool was second on the team with 96 yards on 9 receptions. The Steelers hope is to go back to the drawing board, get healthier and prepare to travel to Green Bay to play a Packers team who is now 2-1 after losing their first game, and of course that means facing 2020 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers.
“Like I just told them, absorb the negativity that comes with our positioning and how we perform and keep your mouth shut and resolve to do better, and that’s not only for them, but that’s for all of us, players and coaches.”-Said Tomlin.
Notes: Injury Updates: RT Chukwuma Okorafor has a concussion and is in the protocol. WR
JuJu Smith-Schuster (ribs) and C Kendrick Green (right knee) are both being evaluated.
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