Defense stepped up when needed

Steelers 23, Cincinnati Bengals 7
December 12, 2010
Heinz Field

It's not bad when you can reel off a win, against a division rival, and the offense doesn't score.

That was the case against the Cincinnati Bengals back in 2010.

Shaun Suisham got the Steelers on the board with three field goals, but it would be the defense that would get the team in the end zone.

The Bengals got off to an early 7-0 lead when penalties gave them second life, but it would quickly evaporate.

Troy Polamalu intercepted his former college roommate, Carson Palmer, and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.

"It definitely got me going," said LaMarr Woodley. "I was feeling a little down after allowing them to score a touchdown on that third down situation that I jumped offside. I was down, but when Troy got in, I got excited."

Two more Suisham field goals would follow, and then it was up to the defense again to get the Steelers on the board.

Woodley would make up for penalty earlier in the game when he intercepted Palmer and took this one back 14 yards for a touchdown, his first-ever interception return for a touchdown.

In 2010 the Steelers defeated the Bengals in a regular season game 23-7.

"Jumping offside and letting Cincinnati drive down the field and put seven on the board," said Woodley. "That was definitely on me, but my teammates were very supportive telling me that it was no big deal, just keep your head in the game and go out there and make plays. I was able to go out there and make plays.

"It felt great. Good thing I didn't have to run a long distance because it takes me a while to get to the end zone. I just made sure I got the ball and didn't run out of bounds and just ran in. It was a great feeling and it put more points on the board for us. It forced them on the next drive to throw the ball a little more."

And when they had to throw the ball, the Steelers made them pay again. Polamalu thwarted a Bengals touchdown drive with his second interception of the day, picking off Palmer in the end zone and returning it to the Steelers' 12-yard line.

"I am glad Troy is on my team," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "The first one was Troy being Troy. This guy, no one is playing as good as Troy Polamalu in football right now in my opinion. When we need a play he provides it, and he did today."

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