Breaking down the tape: 21 offensive snaps

A look back at the Steelers' 16-10 loss to the Bengals via the magic of the DVR:


Check out the highlight photos from the Steelers vs Bengals game. The Bengals defeated the Steelers 16-10 on November 1st 2015.

WHAT THEY'LL BE MISSING:** The season-ending knee injury suffered early in the second quarter by RB Le'Veon Bell shut down a reunion the Steelers had been waiting to throw all season.

For the first time they had Bell, QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown and WR Martavis Bryant all available in the same game.

That lasted for 21 offensive snaps (23 counting penalties).

The foursome played 16 plays together in that span against the Bengals, during which Bell carried eight times for 39 yards (4.9 yards per attempt), Roethlisberger completed six of eight passes for 52 yards and a touchdown and Brown had three receptions for 28 yards and a TD.

Bell and Bryant also had receptions and Roethlisberger tried unsuccessfully to hit TE Heath Miller and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey.

In a quarter-plus the Steelers had moved the ball and spread it around.

And then Bell went down.

That hasn't quite left the Steelers in a back-to-the-drawing-board type of situation, but it's something they're going to have to work around for the remainder of the 2015 season.

HEEEEEEEEEATH: One week after being targeted twice and catching zero passes against the Chiefs (the first time he'd been shutout in 111 games, including playoffs), Miller caught 10 of 13 balls thrown his way against the Bengals.

The jump in productivity appears attributable at least in part to a change in venue, a change at quarterback and a week's worth of experience for Alejandro Villanueva at left tackle.

In Kansas City, Villanueva was starting for the first time, on the road in a loud, hostile environment and going up against an accomplished pass rusher (Tamba Hali). The Steelers lined a tight end up next to Villanueva on 16 of QB Landry Jones' 29 passing attempts, including Miller 15 times. He didn't always stay in to block, but Jones also wasn't experienced at knowing where Miller would be and when once he chipped a defender and then released into a route.

With the Steelers back at home on Sunday and Roethlisberger back under center, Miller was much more likely to line up on the right side of the line, wide-right, slot-right or wide-left than he was on Villanueva's hip. Villanueva, battling another accomplished pass rusher in Michael Johnson, still got occasional help from TE Matt Spaeth or RB DeAngelo Williams. But Miller was freed up and available in the passing game and Roethlisberger knew where to find him.

Miller's 10 catches tied a career high and he joined WR Hines Ward in the Steelers' 550 receptions club (559) and became the sixth tight end in NFL history to catch 550 career passes.

HANDS FULL: The Bengals' front four and substitute pass rushers proved more than formidable, as advertised. Cincinnati dropped Roethlisberger three times and the Steelers were penalized for holding four times. OT Marcus Gilbert, OG Ramon Foster, Spaeth and Miller were all detected with Cincinnati jerseys in hand, Gilbert, Foster and Spaeth on plays that started out as passes. A second infraction on Gilbert was declined because it occurred on what became Cincinnati's second sack.

The Bengals' first sack had a familiar look to it. Johnson and DE Wallace Gilberry worked a stunt against Foster and Villanueva. Gilberry, lined up at right defensive end, cut behind Johnson, who had lined up at defensive tackle, and Johnson was ultimately able to squeeze between Foster and Villanueva.

The same approach had resulted in a sack for Hali in Kansas City.

The Steelers might see that game again this Sunday against the Raiders.

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