A look back at the Steelers' 33-20 victory over the Bengals via the magic of the DVR:**
The best photos of TE Heath Miller from the 2015 season.
It wasn't the block that beat the Bengals but it was still one well worth revisiting in QB Ben Roethlisberger's estimation.
First-and-10 from the Bengals' 16-yard line, fourth quarter: TE Heath Miller motions from right to left behind the line of scrimmage to seal off the backside as Roethlisberger accepts a shotgun snap and hands off to RB DeAngelo Williams. As Williams runs right, Miller lines up DE Michael Johnson, who is crashing unblocked off the right side of the defensive formation. Miller gets low and delivers a blow that flips Johnson, all 6-foot-7 and 280 pounds of him, over Miller's left shoulder.
Johnson ends up flat on his back at the 20 and then rolls over in time to see Williams' cutback via a spin move that gains 10 yards, a cutback that wouldn't have been available if not for Miller.
Roethlisberger watched the block unfold from a few feet away and then offered some unsolicited perspective after the game.
"Not a lot of tight ends would stick their nose in there and spring a big run," Roethlisberger said, calling an interview-audible after he'd been asked about Miller's 10 receptions. "He does it and is just so selfless about it."
Miller's day also included his second career rush, a 2-yard gain after accepting an improvised pitch from Roethlisberger, and those 10 receptions.
He really does do it all.**
Photos from the last matchup vs the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 13th, 2015.
BLOCKING AND TACKLING:**
LB Ryan Shazier had seven tackles (three solo) against the Bengals but he also proved he's a willing blocker.
First-and-20 from the Bengals' 18, fourth quarter: QB AJ McCarron overthrows WR Mohamed Sanu and is intercepted by S Robert Golden at the Bengals' 43. Shazier and LB Lawrence Timmons pivot and attempt to provide an escort to the end zone as Golden eludes H-back Ryan Hewitt's tackle at the Bengals' 41. Shazier lines up C Russell Bodine, who is apparently trying to get to the sideline and turn Golden back into the center of the field.
The ferocity of the collision between Shazier and Bodine at the Bengals' 24 knocks both players to the ground.
It might also have helped spring Golden into the end zone, but he was caught from behind by Sanu and WR Marvin Jones.
LB James Harrison had an even more devastating block on the return. He got a running start into G Kevin Zeitler, who was stationary along the sideline, and blasted him out of bounds while Golden was being tackled.SCREEN SAVER:
DE Stephon Tuitt earned his first career interception with recognition as well as athleticism.
Second-and-goal from the Steelers' 4, first quarter: The Bengals line up three receivers, a tight end-right and RB Giovani Bernard in the backfield, to the left of QB Andy Dalton. Tuitt rushes from the right side of the defense around LT Andrew Whitworth, who slide-steps right away from Tuitt. When Bernard doesn't attempt to block Tuitt, either, Tuitt stops rushing Dalton and instead gets between Dalton and Bernard, a position from which Tuitt is able to snag Dalton's low throw as Bernard crouches behind Tuitt, anticipating the ball.
Had Tuitt kept coming after Dalton and had the low throw eluded him, the Bengals had Whitworth lined up on S Will Allen, G Clint Boling on LB Jarvis Jones, Zeitler on Timmons and TE Tyler Eifert on FS Mike Mitchell.
Bernard might have been able to walk into the end zone.
The design of the play was similar to a Dalton-to-Eifert screen that had gone for 24 yards two snaps earlier. On that one, Jones rushed from the right edge and was engaged momentarily by Eifert, who then released and turned to make himself available for Dalton. Jones kept coming and Dalton's sidearm pass found Eifert behind a wall of Whitworth, Boling and Bodine.READ AND REACT:
CB William Gay's pick-six tied Rod Woodson for the top spot on the Steelers' all-time list.
Second-and-5 from the Bengals' 25, third quarter: The Bengals line up with WR A.J. Green wide-left, Sanu slot-left and Jones wide-right. Gay is opposite Green and CB Brandon Boykin opposite Sanu, both in off-coverage. At the snap, Sanu moves laterally toward the left sideline and Green runs a slant, cutting in front of Gay. But rather than follow Green (Timmons drops back to cover that route), Gay stays put in his zone, as does Boykin. With eyes on McCarron the entire time, Gay reads flanker-screen and breaks on the ball. Pressure from Harrison, who has beaten Whitworth cleanly, prevents McCarron from stepping into his throw.
Harrison knocks McCarron flat on his back as the pass floats toward the sideline.
The rest is Steelers' history.