Flag football: When one of the first things Coach Mike Tomlin talked about in his weekly press conference was penalties, you knew he wasn't at all happy with the fact that the Steelers were penalized 10 times against the Bengals.
"The penalties were disturbing," said Tomlin. "That is not how we play. We are going to fix it, and fix it ASAP. It was an issue in the game. We got penalized 10 times. Penalties had been an asset to us over the course of the season. It's been a winning edge. It's something we take pride in. We were highly penalized in the game and that was a detriment to our efforts."
End around: With Stephon Tuitt out, the Steelers used nose tackle Steve McLendon at left defensive end in the nickel defense and Daniel McCullers at nose tackle in the base defense. It was a combination that worked in Tomlin's eyes.
"I thought they both did some good things, in particularly in getting push on the pocket and that is something that concerns you when you are losing a talented rusher like Tuitt," said Tomlin. "I thought both guys filled the bill, but filled it in a different way. They are pocket pushers. I thought both guys did it in a nice job in that area."
Corner pocket: Cornerback Antwon Blake had his second interception of the season when he picked off Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, and he continues bring the physical presence the Steelers need at the corner spot.
"I thought he did some nice things," said Tomlin. "The red zone interception was a big one. I like his consistent physicality at the position, particularly with perimeter ball that we see with the quick wide out screens. I thought he was a consistent tackler on the perimeter. I thought we minimized a lot of yards out of them after catch and that gave us an opportunity to keep the score down. A.J. Green caught a lot of balls, but most of the time he was tackled immediately or soon thereafter. I think that is reflective of Blake's play and Ross Cockrell's play as well."