Steelers Postgame Commentary: Week 10 vs Bengals

By COMON Network Team

Final Score – Pittsburgh Steelers (9-0) 36 def. Cincinnati Bengals (2-6-1) 10

The best start in the storied history of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ franchise is now a game better. The Steelers are now 9-0 after their latest win, in their return to Heinz Field, over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Pittsburgh struck first, getting two Chris Boswell field goals in the first 10:10 of the game, the first from 41 and the second from 30 yards. Before the first quarter came to a close, Diontae Johnson broke free and caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers tried for two and failed, and led 12-0 after one.

The Bengals scored their only touchdown of the game at 10:37 of the second quarter on a Joe Burrow two-yard pass to Tee Higgins. JuJu Smith-Schuster caught an eight-yard score from Roethlisberger before Boswell connected from 45 yards to bring the score to 22-7 at the break.

There was just one score in the third quarter as Chase Claypool caught the first of his two touchdown passes from 11 yards away. The duo of Claypool and Roethlisberger would connect again from five yards inn the fourth quarter with 10:31 to play. That touchdown would be it for Roethlisberger, whose four touchdown day was his 17th of his career and first since November 8, 2018.

Cincinnati added a field goal with just over five minutes left to make it 36-10.

COMON Network Team Commentary

DONNY CHEDRICK

  • Practice? Ben Roethlisberger did not practice all week after being placed on the  Covid-19 list after the win in Dallas due to close contact with Vance McDonald. After the first few drives in hurricane-like winds, Ben looked normal. In fact, better than normal. Over 300 yards and four touchdowns in the win.
  • Heisman Drought. Another win for Big Ben against a recent Heisman trophy winner. Cam Newton (twice), Baker Mayfield (twice), Lamar Jackson, Marcus Mariota, Johnny Manziel, RG3 all once. He’s now 9-0 against Heisman winners in the last decade. And the Steelers are 9-0 in 2020.
  • Walk, Don’t Run. If there’s a negative to take away from this one it’s the lack of running the football. The last two games the Steelers have faced some of the worst rushing defenses in football and have completely neglected their run game. Whether it be James Conner or Benny Snell or Anthony McFarland — nobody is running. Conner had under 40 yards, Snell didn’t have a carry, McFarland didn’t have a helmet. I don’t get it. Ben isn’t going to pick every team apart.

Player of the Game – Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)

KYLE DAWSON

  • Ben Roethlisberger didn’t practice all week and was away from the team’s facility. I’m not going to act like that is debilitating for a quarterback with his resume and at his age, but it’s something. He responded by lighting up the Bengals’ defense in gusty winds and poor conditions. The day: 27-46 for 333, 4 TD and no picks. That’s impressive in any game, and especially in this one. Ben doesn’t lose to Heisman winners. He’s lost to a rookie twice.
  • The Steelers defense was excellent. Everyone, really. Joe Burrow had trouble reading coverages all day and barely completed 50% of his passes. The Bengals had more than 100 yards rushing, but that was thanks to a 39-yard run on a fake punt that amounted to three points. Terrell Edmunds had a strong game, as did really the entire secondary, especially Joe Haden, who had three passes defenses and a couple really good tackles. I’ll save the other note on the defense for a separate bullet – here you go…
  • TJ Watt. Blank check. Brinks truck. I don’t care what it takes. This guy is an animal. Two sacks, two TFL and 4 total QBH. JJ Watt is the only other play in the last 15 seasons to record 9+ sacks, 25+ QBH and 10+ TFL in the team’s first nine games of a season. He did that in 2015. He won DPOY in 2015. Is TJ on track for it? He may not be a heavy favorite but he’s certainly firmly in the mix.
  • I have no idea what to think about this running game. Another brutal output and a lack of devotion to attempting to do anything with the running game by the Steelers. If there’s any eye sore to this game it’s that. Conner had a 16 and an 11-yard run in this game and in his other 11 carries, he accumulated nine yards.
  • The receivers were great again. Diontae Johnson six for 116 and a score, Smith-Schuster nine for 77 and a score, Claypool four for 56 and two touchdowns, etc.

Player of the Game – Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)

JOE SMELTZER

  • The score would tell you it was an ass whipping, but was it actually an ass whipping?
  • It was nice to see the Steelers win a game that didn’t come down to the wire. At the same time, they did not play their best football today. That’s a good thing. It means that a 9-0 football team still has more to give.
  • Blame it on Randy’s play calling. Blame it on the offensive line. But James Conner simply has to be better. The past three games, he’s picked up 105 yards on 35 carries, good for 3.3 yards per touch. That’s not what we look for from No. 1 running backs .

Player of the Game – Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)

JACK HILLGROVE

  • Big. Ben. Boy, do I wish that the MVP award considered the “V” in value a little bit more, because I think he’d win it and it wouldn’t be close. The old gun slinger has reinvented himself into one of, if not the most efficient QB in football. He’s on pace to throw for 40 TD’s this season, something the future Hall-of-Famer hasn’t done before in his storied career. 
  • I still don’t understand the lack of James Conner in the offense. Now, today it didn’t matter because the Bengals are atrocious on the defensive side of the ball, ranking 26th in the league coming into the ballgame. But if you run into a better team, which probably five of the remaining seven opponents are, you have to be able to run the ball well. James Conner is a good running back behind a very good offensive line. Let him work, create manageable downs and distances for you, and the game comes so much easier. I hope that coach Randy and company can figure that out as the back half of the regular season rolls on. 
  • Hot take here, but I think TJ Watt is a better pass rusher in Steelers history already than James Harrison. In 4 seasons, Watt has 43.5 career sacks, averaging 10.5 per season, and we’re only nine games in to 2020. Harrison on the other hand played much longer, and had 84.5 career sacks. The average there? 6.8 per season. I know there’s a lot of football left in Watt’s career, but he gets better it seems in every game he plays, and it’s only a matter of time until he wins DPOY. 
  • Bonus bullet: Jon Vilma is the worst color analyst in the business. That’s all. 

Player of the Game – Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)

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