If there was one lesson to be learned from the Pittsburgh Steelers game against the Cincinnati Bengals, it’s that you never desecrate the Terrible Towel.
The Bengals’ running back, Jeremy Hill, scored a touchdown in the second quarter and immediately went over to a fan holding the Terrible Towel, made famous by Myron Cope, and attempted to rip it. After his failed attempt, he crumbled the towel up and threw it on the ground, enraging Steelers fans and the players.
After that, the Bengals didn’t score a single point. Yes, they had the last word in second quarter scoring, but when it came to the second half it was all Pittsburgh.
The Steelers had the majority of their points- 18 exactly- scored by kicker Chris Boswell. The kicking game was peculiar in this battle of AFC North teams. Kicking opposite of Boswell, for the Bengals, was Randy Bullock. Bullock was the man who filled in for Boswell just a week ago with Boswell experiencing abdominal pain. Now, Bullock kicks for the Bengals, after they released veteran kicker Mike Nugent.
Boswell tacked six field goals, tying the Steelers franchise record for most field goals in a single, regular season game. Boswell had three field goals from 49 yards while the others came from 45, 40, and 30 yards. As for Bullock, he had two field goals from 23 and 22 yards.
After the game, head coach Mike Tomlin praised Boswell for his franchise-tying game.
“Boswell did a heck of a job making sure all of our possessions were productive ones,” said Tomlin. “I can’t say enough about his effort. He kicked six field goals. That is big business. He needs no endorsement from me. I just gave him a game ball.”
The Bengals did reach the scoreboard first in the touchdown department. The Bengals almost had a touchdown from Hill, but it was called back. On the next play, on fourth down, quarterback Andy Dalton ran the ball in 1-yard for the touchdown. Bullock knocked in the extra point, and did so again after a 4-yard touchdown run from Hill.
After Hill’s brash with the Terrible Towel, it was the Steelers game. However, the Steelers wouldn’t get their only touchdown of the game until late in the fourth quarter. Ben Roethlisberger found Eli Rogers in the end zone on a 24-yard pass. The Steelers elected to go for the two-point conversion, but the attempt failed.
The Steelers could’ve had a touchdown earlier in the second half, but a chop block call on Le’Veon Bell ruined the potential touchdown from Antonio Brown.
As for Bell, who previously had four straight games where he rushed for more than 100 yards, his day wasn’t as fruitful on the ground. He rushed for 91 yard on 23 carries. In the air, Bell connected with Roethlisberger five times for 38 yards. Leading the Steelers in the air was Rogers, who caught five passes for 75 yards.
As for the quarterbacks, Roethlisberger threw for 286 yards on 21/36 completed passes. Roethlisberger threw the one touchdown to Rogers and didn’t throw a pick. Meanwhile, Dalton threw a pick to Lawrence Timmons, while also throwing for 157 yards on 16/27 completed passes.
As for the Steelers defense, their red zone coverage was put to the test plenty against the Bengals. Timmons led the defense with five tackles and three assisted tackles. Ryan Shazier was the only player to record a sack against Dalton while the defense in total stopped the Bengals offense 6/12 times on third down.
“We are going to fight until the last whistle,” said Shazier. “We understood we weren’t playing good enough in the first half. We knew we had to come out and play better ball and that’s what we did. We really didn’t do much different. We just did our job better. Everybody understood they weren’t doing their job good enough. They weren’t beating the guy in front of them. They just weren’t doing enough. We came in and understood that’s what we need to do.”
The Steelers currently still lead the AFC North, but the Baltimore Ravens are still right on their heels. The Steelers lead the AFC North with a 9-5 record, while Baltimore hold on to an 8-6 record. As for the Bengals, the loss and the Ravens win over the Philadelphia Eagles means they are officially eliminated from playoff contention.
The Steelers will face the Ravens next, in a battle for the AFC North, on Christmas Day. The game is scheduled to kick off at 4:30 p.m. ET. The game will be aired on local stations and NFL Network.
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