A few Post-Game Thoughts
— Despite the almost epic collapse, anytime to win a division road game on prime time is big and the Steelers are now off to a 6-2 record for the second straight year.
However, the Steelers are far from a finished product and some of same concerns from last season keep showing up.
“We’re far from perfect but we are 6-2, ” head coach Mike Tomlin said in his post-game comments.
The Steelers at times look like the best and most complete team in the NFL but their weaknesses in key areas remain a concern at the half way mark.
— Offensively, the Steelers still lack that killer instinct to put a team away. They did some good things especially with their power running game late in the game but the Steelers offense let the Bengals “D” off the hook at times.
— Defensively, Pittsburgh continues to let teams back into the game through the passing game in the second half.
A lot of the blame likes to be put on the offense for not closing the game in the 4th quarter but the Steelers pass defense continues to be prone to big plays in the middle of the field and once again, a quarterback appeared to have figured things out in the second half.
The Steelers just haven’t found a way to limit the big passing yards when holding a lead. It’s a factor of scheme and personnel. Even with Troy Polamalu back, it’s still a problem as the Steelers safety play has not been as good as it should be.
The Bengals two scorers in the 4th quarter were quick scorers which played a big factor in Cincinnati hanging around until the end.
In regards to the Steelers pass defense, the only real difference from last year is that the Steelers are making turnovers this year as the team didn’t have an interception from a cornerback until week 17 last year.
— Will the Steelers avoid another collapse?: Despite some of the same concerns showing up, this team still has a different feel from last year. There won’t be a 5 game losing streak on the horizon.
— Taylor shuts down O’Chocinco: Terrell Owens had a monster night, catching 10 balls for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Chad O’Chocinco was limited to just 1 catch for 15 yards.
Ike Taylor did an excellent job of shutting down O’Chocinco. Taylor was aggressive with O’Chocinco, playing close to bump and run coverage with him at the line of scrimmage.
Injury Concerns: The Steelers offensive line suffered several injuries in the win. Chris Kemoeatu left the game with a leg injury, Max Starks continues to be bothered with a bad foot and Maurkice Pouncey suffered an ankle injury but played through it.
Defensive end Brett Keisel re-aggravated his hamstring injury.
Mike Tomlin will address those injuries at his Tuesday press conference.