View Full Version : Bungle in the jungle: Bengals bite Steelers 23-20

09-29-2009, 02:13 AM
Bungle in the jungle: Bengals bite Steelers 23-20

By: Mike Bires -
Beaver County Times

Monday September 28, 2009 01:50 AM
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... 23-20.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1424/2009/september/28/bungle-in-the-jungle-bengals-bite-steelers-23-20.html)

CINCINNATI - In their long history, the Steelers have suffered their share of unfathomable losses. But the one Sunday may trump them all.

In botching what should have been an easy win, the Steelers self-destructed in too many ways to count. And because they did, they are a team in trouble.

Throughout the preseason, the Steelers promised they would not have a Super Bowl hangover. Well, after three games, this is one hung-over football team.

This looks like 2006 all over again.

In their last Super Bowl defense, the Steelers got off to a 1-2 start en route to missing the playoffs. Well, here they are again, 1-2 after a crushing 23-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

How could they blow a 13-0 lead after racking up a whopping 207-to-minus-10 advantage in total yards after the game's first three possessions?

By collapsing in the second half, that's how.

A miscommunication between Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes allowed Cincinnati cornerback Jonathan Joseph to return an interception 30 yards for a TD early in the third quarter.

On the Steelers' next possession, Limas Sweed dropped what should have been a 34-yard TD pass. On the next snap, Jeff Reed, the goat last week in Chicago when he missed two field goals, missed a 52-yarder.

Then in the fourth quarter, the once-proud Steelers' defense just broke down.

When it mattered most, the defense allowed the Bengals to score touchdowns on their last two possessions. The first of those two drives went 85 yards. The second was a 71-yard march in which Carson Palmer kept the drive alive with two fourth-down completions. Palmer then won it with a TD pass with 14 seconds left.

The 2009 defense is light years away from last year's top-ranked defense.

"That was bad, wasn't it?" free safety Ryan Clark said dejectedly. "Yes, that was bad football."

It was pathetic football for a team that supposedly was stacked to make another serious run deep into the postseason tournament.

After losing in Cincinnati for the first time since 2001, the Steelers offered up all kinds of reasons and excuses for their meltdown. They all sounded so hollow.

"It's always the little things," cornerback Deshea Townsend said.

"It's not mental mistakes, it's physical mistakes," linebacker James Farrior.

"We didn't have everybody on the same page," wide receiver Hines Ward said.

"We shot ourselves in the foot," Roethlisberger said.

"Everybody has to hold themselves accountable," running back Willie Parker said.

It's all of the above and more.

The bottom line is that right now, the Steelers are not a very good team.