STEELERS 30, BENGALS 20
Steelers’ record: 6-8
One year ago: 7-7
Series record (including playoffs): Steelers lead, 54-33
This is uncharted territory for these Steelers. The experience of having to play multiple regular season games knowing that there is essentially no hope of making the playoffs is a new one for most of these players. How would they respond to the situation? “I think they’re playing specifically to win this game. That’s been our mentality throughout this year. When you start 0-4 in the manner in which we did, what’s ahead of you and the manner in which you need to approach it is evident to everyone. Since that time we have been singularly focused to the task at hand, and I don’t expect that to change now.”
TOMLIN’S PREDICTION COMES TRUE IN A BIG WAY
Two days before the game, Coach Mike Tomlin was asked about the possible significance of the kicking game.
“They do a great job of applying pressure with their punt return unit, and they also do a great job of applying pressure with their kickoff coverage unit,” said Tomlin. “We have to be prepared to deal with those guys. We need to be prepared to make some plays of our own. We did the last time, and I thought it gave us a chance early in the game. We had a nice kickoff return early by
As it turned out, special teams were big at the start of the game and shaped what happened after as a result.
STAT THAT STANDS OUT I
The announced temperature at kickoff was 26-degrees with winds out of the west at between 15-17 miles per hour. Those were the numbers, but the anecdotal evidence was this: After being placed at the 20-yard line for the first play of the game, the football blew away and had to be retrieved by the umpire.
STAT THAT STANDS OUT II
Ben Roethlisberger came into the game having thrown 189 straight passes without an interception, and he completed his first 12 attempts of the game for 112 yards and a touchdown. The streak got up to 207 pass attempts without an interception before Adam Jones wrestled the ball away from