Postgame Takes

Xtra Points: 5 key factors


Shazam, Shazier: **Linebacker Ryan Shazier was limited in practice during the week leading up to the game, but was anything but limited once things kicked off against the Bengals at Heinz Field.  

Shazier led the defense with 11 tackles. His biggest hit though was when he stopped Jeremy Hill for a two-yard loss on first-and-goal from the one-yard line. The defense held strong on the drive, holding the Bengals to a field goal despite great field position.  

"He's coming into his own as a linebacker and a defensive signal caller, or defensive quarterback," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "We've been very upfront with him, in terms of if he goes, we go. His leadership and communication are central to us putting together a group. He's grown by leaps and bounds, and I think because of that, we've grown by leaps and bounds. But, we've still got more to do."

Shutting them down: The defense was stout all day in the red zone, and the Bengals were forced to settle for field goals on three trips inside the 20-yard line.

In the first quarter the Bengals would advance the ball to the seven-yard line, but that would be it as they had to settle for a field goal.

The strong defensive play continued when the Bengals were stopped at the 15-yard line right before halftime, and forced to settle for another field goal.

The stand of the day was in the third quarter when the Bengals had first-and-goal from the one yard line and they were stopped dead, forcing a third field goal.


Imposing his will:** Running back Le'Veon Bell is known to his teammates as 'D-Will' and on Sunday he imposed his will on the Cincinnati Bengals in less than stellar weather conditions at Heinz Field. Williams carried the ball 32 times for 94 yards, and caught four passes for 38 yards and a touchdown in the 24-16 win.  

"You look at the field conditions and what we were able to do," said Williams. "We knew it was going to be a two chinstrap game and a high running game because of the field conditions."

Williams said it was a key to keep the offense balanced against the Bengals, something he had a huge part in doing.

"You can't be one dimensional and win football games," said Williams. "We complement each other well. It all boils down to whatever it takes to win a football game. It was a win and it was AFC North football."

Williams surpassed 10,000 yards from scrimmage in the game, becoming the 13th active NFL player to do so.  

"It's 10,000 yards," said Williams. "Somebody said in the locker room, 'You're either old or you are good, which one are you?' And I was like, 'I don't know.' But if the media has anything to say, I am old. I am hunting one thing and one thing only, and that is a Super Bowl. The 10,000 yards up until this point haven't translated into a Super Bowl, so it means nothing to me."

Getting a leg up: It's not often punters get mentioned when talking about game highlights, but Jordan Berry deserves to have his performance against the Bengals touted.

Berry pinned the Bengals inside the 20-yard line five times, averaging 42.3 net yards on eight punts. Berry gave the Steelers defense a huge advantage in the field position game.

Berry stepped up big when he was needed the most, booting a punt 58 yards to the Bengals 13-yard line near the end of the game, allowing the coverage unit to hold Adam Jones to only a 12-yard return.


A great first catch:** If you look at the Steelers stat sheet, Xavier Grimble's stats won't jump out at you. Two catches, 26 yards. But look to the right, and that one touchdown, a 20-yarder, definitely stood out.

Grimble's first NFL reception was the 20-yard touchdown, a play where he used his athletic ability and size to not be denied and find a way to dive and stretch it out for the score. 

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