Linebacker LaMarr Woodley was kicking himself early on in the Steelers-Bengals game after he was called for an offside penalty on an incomplete pass that would have forced a punt. The Bengals kept the drive alive, and eventually turned it into a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead.
"I was feeling a little down after allowing them to score a touchdown on that third down situation that I jumped offside," 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."
Woodley took their words to heart when he came up big, intercepting Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer and returning it 14 yards for a touchdown, giving the Steelers a comfortable 20-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.
"I was able to go out there and make plays, Coach (Dick) LeBeau put me in position and we did a great job as a team," said Woodley.
It was the first interception return for a touchdown in Woodley's four-year career, and he wasn't going to be denied the end zone.
"Last week I couldn't get in," said Woodley, referring to a fumble recovery that he took to the nine-yard line against the Ravens. "I was moving a little slow, but the opportunity presented itself and I was able to get an interception and this time I wanted to take it to the house and I was able to get it in there.
"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."* **
Kicker Shaun Suisham has been a hero on the road for two games, but this week finally had a chance to kick field goals in front of the Heinz Field crowd and he came up big once again.
Suisham connected on field goals from 23-, 35- and 41-yards in the Steelers 23-7 win over the Bengals.
"I kicked extra points my first game here," said Suisham, referring to the Oakland Raiders game. "You try to treat every kick the same. It was fine. It was just like another game.
"I certainly am happy to have contributed. I feel like I've made the transition in here now and I'm really looking forward to moving on."
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took a bit of a beating against the Bengals, taking some hits that his teammates thought were questionable and weren't penalties.
"It's terrible, man," said linebacker James Farrior. "I think they protect all of the quarterbacks but ours. But we're going to keep on fighting; we're going to keep on going. Hopefully they'll catch it one day.
"We see the hits that Ben takes every week. It's kind of ridiculous that they always miss those calls, but any time we breathe on a quarterback, they always seem to find that one."