View Full Version : Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game 3 vs. Cincinnati Bengal

09-28-2009, 12:52 AM
Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game 3 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Game ball goes to: WR Mike Wallace
Monday, September 28, 2009
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Nobody has to wonder which player is the team's No. 3 receiver now. Rookie Mike Wallace had seven catches for 102 yards, becoming the first rookie to have a 100-yard receiving game since Santonio Holmes did it in Cincinnati in the 2006 season. Wallace's biggest catch was a 51-yarder in which he used his speed to run past CB Johnathan Joseph to set up a field goal. But he also had a 16-yard catch on a third-and-13 conversion in the third quarter that led to the Steelers' final touchdown.
The countdown

A quick look at the top performances from the yesterday's game:

1. THE BENGALS CONVERT ON FOURTH-AND-10: With 36 seconds remaining and the ball at the Steelers' 15, quarterback Carson Palmer converted a fourth-and-10 when he hit running back Brian Leonard for an 11-yard gain on a crossing route in front of ILB James Farrior. Two plays later, the Bengals scored the winning touchdown with 14 seconds remaining. "You make the plays in critical situations, you win; if you don't, you lose," Farrior said. "I blame myself for that. I got caught looking at the quarterback too much."

2. CEDRIC BENSON'S 23-YARD TOUCHDOWN: After rushing for just 18 yards on eight carries in the first half, Benson (pictured above) scored on a 23-yard run off the left side when he ran between Farrior and OLB James Harrison to make it 20-15 with 9:14 remaining.

3. SWEED'S DROPPED TOUCHDOWN: This was nearly as bad as the dropped TD in the AFC championship game. If Sweed had held on to what would have been a 34-yard touchdown, the Steelers would have taken a 20-9 lead. Instead, Reed missed a 52-yard field goal on the next play.

4. ROETHLISBERGER FINALLY SACKED: It took the Bengals 151/2 quarters, but they finally sacked the Steelers quarterback. And it was a big one. DE Robert Geathers and DT Pat Sims dropped him on third down at the Bengals' 42 with 5:26 remaining, setting the stage for the final drive.

5. PARKER'S 27-YARD TOUCHDOWN CATCH: On what amounted to a busted play, Roethlisberger made a deft move to avoid pressure from Geathers and threw a pass on the sideline to Parker, who caught the pass at the 13 and ran into the end zone for a 10-0 lead.
Inside the numbers ... 9

That's the number of first downs the Bengals got on the final two drives in the fourth quarter, including five on the 16-play, 71-yard winning drive. Prior to that, the Bengals had managed only 10 -- with four on the final drive of the first half.
What was he thinking?

The Steelers were leading, 13-0, and facing fourth-and-4 at the Bengals' 35 with 1:15 remaining -- a situation that screamed for a pooch punt that would pin the Bengals, who had just 45 yards offense and three first downs, deep in their own territory. Instead, coach Mike Tomlin decided to go for the first down, a plan that went awry and began the Steelers' implosion. The Bengals quickly earned a late field goal and some much-needed momentum. "We thought we had an opportunity to get a first down and potentially a TD," Tomlin said.

"You can't think in a million years that on fourth-and-10 we won't get off the field. We're up 20-9 in the fourth quarter and we can't hold the lead. That's like a stab in the back ... a slap in the face." -- Safety Tyrone Carter on blowing another late lead
The Steelers (1-2) beat the Chargers (3-0) twice at home last season, including 35-24 in an AFC divisional playoff game, and have won the past five meetings in Pittsburgh.

X's and O's

The Steelers looked as though they had rediscovered their running game in the first half when Willie Parker rushed for 72 yards on 14 carries and had a 24-yard run to set up a field goal. But, after giving up a late field goal in the first half, the Steelers started the second half with three consecutive pass plays. The final one was picked by Joseph when Santonio Holmes, who was supposed to run a slant route, ran a go-pattern. Ben Roethlisberger's pass went right to Joseph, who ran 30 yards for an easy score to make it 13-9.

Gerry Dulac can be reached at gdulac@post-gazette.com.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09271/10 ... z0SNF5QFEf (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09271/1001400-66.stm#ixzz0SNF5QFEf)