Taking a stand: Linebacker Arthur Moats likes what he is seeing from the Steelers' defense, even in the young season.
"It's the way we handle adversity," said Moats. "There are times a call may not go our way, or we may not get off the field on a three and out. It doesn't matter what part of the field we are in, we are still fighting to the last blade of grass. That's a true testament to the mentality and preparation we have as a defense."
That mentality showed up big in the third quarter when the Bengals had first-and-goal from the one yard line and they were stopped dead, forcing a field goal instead of allowing a touchdown.
"That is huge for the point swing," said Moats. "Any time you are able to keep offenses from getting seven points, not only is it a boost defensively, but our offense sees it and it puts them in attack mode because they know they can push the lead even bigger."
A step forward: Rookie nose tackle Javon Hargrave is going through the natural rookie progression, which means getting more comfortable every time he is on the field.
"I have been improving every day, in practice and in games," said Hargrave. "I am feeling a lot better. I am more comfortable with the repetitions I am getting. Being able to be out there in an NFL game, I am feeling way more comfortable with my assignments and just being able to play."
Home field advantage: Rookie linebacker Tyler Matakevich had an idea that Heinz Field would be on fire Sunday when the Steelers played the Bengals, but he never expected the energy and enthusiasm he witnessed.
"It was crazy," said Matakevich. "The older guys were telling me what to expect, but you really don't know until you get in there. They were nuts the whole game. But with just a few minutes left in the fourth quarter and they did that Renegade song…that was the craziest thing I ever experienced. Once the crowd starts going nuts, it gets you excited, everyone waving their Terrible Towels, it gets you excited to play the next play."