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Thread: Week 10 Post Game Notes: Steelers

  1. #1

    Week 10 Post Game Notes: Steelers

    Baby


    Zac Taylor on why Joe Burrow struggled today: "I don't think any of us were in a rhythm, quite frankly... We were off today, and that starts with me."

  2. #2
    Contipelli


    Joe Burrow taking responsibility for the Bengals not converting on third down today, "I just missed throws... That's all it came down to."

  3. #3
    Goldsmith


    Hubbard on losing again to the Steelers: “I’m sick of it, but it’s not going to change unless we change it. We’ve got to turn the tide, but it’s not going to happen overnight.”


    “This is not where we want to be."

  4. #4
    Goldsmith


    Burrow: “We knew we had a chance in that game if I play better.”


    “You hear me talk and I’m not too down in the dumps because I don’t play like that very often.”


    “We’re not down in the dumps. I’m excited to get back to work."

  5. #5
    Patterson


    It doesn’t matter. - Joe Burrow when asked if his rolled ankle still bothered him in the 2nd half

  6. #6
    “That’s the last thing I’d ever worry about is Joe Burrow’s confidence. I can promise you that.” Zac Taylor

  7. #7
    Goldsmith


    Zac Taylor says he “failed today” in certain play calling aspects and making in-game decisions.

  8. #8
    If there is a positive, Willie Anderson tweeted that he thought Adeniji played well. He might just be a good starting tackle in this league.
    Williams-Jordan-Hopkins-Spain-Adeniji might be a good line moving forward.

  9. #9
    Bengals' Joe Burrow struggles against another elite defense in loss to Steelers

    Burrow's first career game against the division rival Steelers is one he'd like to forget after they pressured him into a lackluster performance.

  10. #10
    A historically bad night filled with familiar blight: Bengals Pick Six





    By Jay Morrison 6h ago



    When you’ve dropped 10 in a row and 13 of 14 against a division rival, you probably don’t need to start looking for new ways to lose.
    So the Bengals didn’t bother.


    They instead just went with the old tried-and-true methods Sunday evening in Pittsburgh — turnovers, failing on third down and doing everything short
    of rolling out a recliner for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to feel comfortable in the pocket with no pressures and no sacks — in the 100th
    regular-season meeting between the teams.




    The Bengals lost two fumbles and found themselves down by double digits before the first quarter ended, and they never mounted much of a fight after
    that, falling 36-10 at Heinz Field to set a franchise record for the longest losing streak against a single opponent.

    What, why and how things went so wrong is a good place to start for this week’s Bengals Pick Six:

    Third-down torment




    The Bengals came into the game as the hottest third-down team in the league over the past four weeks, converting 58.5 percent of the time. But they
    were 0 for 13 against the Steelers and never really came close on any of them.

    Joe Burrow was 3 for 11 for 10 yards on third down. He was sacked on the three when he didn’t throw it.

    “To go 0 for 13 or whatever it ended up being on offense, you’re not going to … you’ve got no chance,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said. “There’s
    no chance.”

    If you’re looking for case studies to back that up, you won’t find any.

    Sunday night marked the Bengals’ most third-down attempts without a conversion since the league started tracking play data in 1991. The previous high
    was 0 for 10 in a 27-10 loss to the Raiders in 1998.


    Only five other times have the Bengals failed to convert a single third down, and two of them actually came in winning efforts (0 for 9 in 24-16 win
    against the Ravens in 2015; 0 for 9 in a 24-21 win against the Colts in 1995; 0 for 7 in a 43-17 loss to the Patriots in 2014; 0 for 7 in a 34-13 loss to the
    Patriots in 2007; and 0 for 6 in a 51-14 loss to the Saints in 2018).

    League-wide, it is tied for the third-most attempts without a conversion. The Cardinals went 0 for 15 in a 7-6 loss to the Jets in 2012, and the
    Buccaneers went 0 for 14 in a 26-3 loss to the Jets in 2009.

    “We just never found a rhythm, and that starts with me getting us into a better place, to be quite honest with you,” Taylor said. “They did a nice job.
    You’ve got to give them credit. The defense is obviously playing well when you go 0 and 13. But that just starts with me. I’ve got to do a better job with
    some of those play calls.”

    Only two of the 13 were shorter than third-and-6.

    More than half — seven of 13 — were third-and-9 or longer.

    Here’s a snapshot look at each of them and the play result.

    First quarter

    • Third-and-7 at Cincinnati 28: Burrow incomplete pass for A.J. Green

    • Third-and-7 at Cincinnati 15: Burrow incomplete pass for Auden Tate

    • Third-and-13 at Cincinnati 18: Burrow completed pass to Giovani Bernard for 5 yards



    Joe Burrow and the offense failed throughout the game on third down. (Charles LeClaire / USA Today)








    Second quarter

    • Third-and-goal at Pittsburgh 2: Burrow throws the ball away on a rollout, then hits Tee Higgins for the team’s only touchdown on the next play

    • Third-and-12 at Cincinnati 38: Burrow sacked by T.J. Watt

    • Third-and-21 at Pittsburgh 46: Burrow incomplete pass for Drew Sample


    Third quarter

    • Third-and-7 at Cincinnati 39: Burrow incomplete pass for Tate

    • Third-and-9 at Cincinnati 33: Burrow incomplete pass for Tyler Boyd

    • Third-and-10 at Cincinnati 25: Burrow incomplete pass for Green

    • Third-and-4 at Cincinnati 26: Burrow completed pass to Boyd for no gain

    Fourth quarter

    • Third-and-10 at Cincinnati 3: Burrow completed pass to Tate for 5 yards

    • Third-and-6 at Cincinnati 41: Burrow sacked by Bud Dupree

    • Third-and-17 at Pittsburgh 19: Burrow incomplete pass for Bernard

    “I missed throws. That’s all it came down to,” Burrow said. “You’re not going to be able to win football games against a team like the Steelers as good
    as they are when your quarterback plays like I did in the second half. I just missed throws, throws I always make. I’m not really sure. I’m excited to get
    back to practice and get that fixed.”

    Turnovers that were … and weren’t


    If you’re compiling a to-do list on how to lose a game on the road to a superior opponent, the first entry should be losing a fumble the first time anyone

    on your team handles the ball.

    That’s how this one played out, with punt returner Alex Erickson coughing up the ball after the Bengals defense made a strong stand to start the game,
    holding the Steelers to one first down on the opening series of the game.

    The defense went right back out and made another stand with a three-and-out, forcing the Steelers to settle for a Chris Boswell 41-yard field goal. So, on
    the surface, the fumble wasn’t a death knell. But in a game where one team already has a psychological edge thanks to five years of domination, losing a
    fumble like that feels bigger on both sidelines.

    The second fumble of the first quarter didn’t lead to any Steelers points but it might have robbed the Bengals of some. They had just crossed midfield
    for the first time on a Burrow pass to Higgins. But the rookie receiver, while lunging backward for extra yards, had the ball ripped free by Cameron
    Sutton and recovered by Steven Nelson.

    The Bengals finished minus-2 in turnovers, but they easily could have leveled that deficit. Three plays after the Higgins fumble, Bengals defensive end
    Sam Hubbard, who was playing for the first time since dislocating his elbow against the Ravens on Oct. 11, read a third-and-2 play perfectly and a
    Roethlisberger pass hit him in the hands, and he watched the ball fall to the ground.

    “It was just a game plan adjustment,” Hubbard said. “We kind of knew when they go empty they’re going to run that block play, so I stood up, read his
    eyes and it was coming out fast. I definitely wish I had that. But it was good to get off the field on third down.”

    Had Hubbard held on to that pass, it would have given the Bengals the ball at midfield with a chance to get points.

    Had safety Jessie Bates squeezed his, it would have been six points.

    It was third-and-2 on the second play of the fourth quarter. Roethlisberger ran play action to the right, pivoted and lofted a high touch pass for tight end
    Eric Ebron, who was behind safety Vonn Bell. Bates closed fast and beat Ebron to the ball and had a clear path to the end zone. It would have gotten the
    Bengals within 29-14 with more than 14 and a half minutes remaining.

    Bates makes that play nine times out of 10, but against the Steelers, those types of balls somehow always end up on the ground.

    “I think that’s just kind of how the day went for us,” Bates said. “I had a really good feel (for it). I think they ran that play against us the past two years.
    Ebron was out there and he kind of blocked and was kind of running the under route, and I had my eyes on him the whole time. I’m not sure. I have to
    check the film. I honestly don’t know how I dropped it. I’m not sure if I mistimed it or if I was looking forward to dancing in the end zone. I honestly
    don’t know for sure.”

    Rushing discrepancy




    While so much about this loss looked familiar, there was one striking difference as the Bengals outrushed the Steelers 139 to 44.

    The Bengals have held the Steelers to fewer than 44 rushing yards only once in the past 75 games. It was in the 2014 season finale with the division
    championship on the line, and the Bengals limited them to 29 yards in a 27-17 Pittsburgh win.

    “We played physical up front,” Hubbard said. “I’m happy with the way we fought. We’re just doing things the right way throughout the week at
    practice, and we’re going to keep climbing and getting better and we’re going to go on a run here these last few games.”

    The 44 yards allowed came on 20 attempts. The 2.2-yard average was Steelers’ fourth-lowest against the Bengals in 100 regular-season and two playoff
    meetings.

    Regardless of the loss, the performance was a silver lining for a run defense that came into the game ranked 29th in the league.

    The last time the Bengals outrushed the Steelers by at least 95 yards was Week 2 of 1989, with a 106-yard margin (Bengals 192, Steelers 86) in a 41-10
    win.

    Sunday’s Bengals total was inflated by a curious fake-punt call midway through the fourth quarter, which resulted in Shawn Williams taking the snap
    and running 39 yards around the left end.

    The Bengals seemed more interested in preserving Burrow’s health by running out the clock rather than trying to score when they started that series,
    trailing 36-7 with 10:31 remaining. But after the successful fake got to the Pittsburgh 27, they were trying to get points and Burrow ended up getting hit
    on back-to-back plays
    — the first on a sack and the second on a hit on a third-down incomplete pass that sent him limping to the bench.

    Still, the 139 rushing yards were the Bengals’ third-most against the Steelers since 2000, and they came with a rookie making his second career start at
    left tackle in Hakeem Adeniji and a recent free-agent signing in right tackle Quinton Spain. Spain has been with the team only since Oct. 30 and had
    previously played just nine career NFL snaps at tackle (eight at left and one at right).

    “Jonah wasn’t ready to go, and so it was next man up,” Taylor said, referring to left tackle Jonah Williams, who was listed as questionable with a neck
    stinger suffered Oct. 25 against the Browns.

    “Quinton was ready for it, felt confident doing it,” Taylor added. “I thought overall those guys did a nice job.”

    Higgins’ haul




    Continuing in the search for positive elements in the latest stomping by the Steelers, Higgins is right up there, even with his costly fumble.

    It came on his second reception of the game and could have derailed the rookie’s focus, but he instead rallied to catch a career-high seven passes for 115
    yards, which was the second-highest total of his young career.

    “It was very important,” Higgins said of what it meant to bounce back after losing the fumble. “Especially for me and obviously for the offense. I hadn’t
    fumbled in who knows when, and that really got to me. Guys were like, ‘Keep your head up, stay positive and it’s going to come.’ Sure enough, next
    series I made the big play and scored the touchdown.”



    Tee Higgins scored the Bengals’ only touchdown on Sunday. (Keith Srakocic / Associated Press)








    The big play was a 54-yard reception — the team’s second-longest play of the year behind Higgins’ 67-yard catch at Indianapolis — and it came on
    Higgins’ first touch after the fumble, taking the Bengals to the Steelers’ 22-yard line. He scored the team’s only touchdown eight plays later.

    Higgins’ performance raises his season totals to 40 catches for 603 yards. That puts him on pace for 71 catches and 1,072 yards, which would surpass
    Green’s franchise-record yardage total (1,057) and Cris Collinsworth’s franchise-record rookie reception mark (67).

    COVID-19 coaches




    The team went through the intensive COVID-19 protocol all week, which meant virtual meetings and most players not allowed in the facility except for
    practice. The Bengals then got hit with another dose of disadvantage Sunday morning when three more coaches found out they would not be a part of
    the game due to COVID-19-related reasons.

    Linebackers coach Al Golden, secondary coach Steven Jackson and senior defensive assistant Mark Duffer joined wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell,
    who was ruled out earlier in the week, as COVID-19 exemptions from the game.

    “It’s just 2020, just another curveball being thrown at us,” Hubbard said. “We’ve already lost a lot of guys to COVID. It’s just another thing that you’ve
    got to adjust on the fly, just like not being able to be in the facility all week with the intensive protocols. You just have to take it and make the most out of it and do what you can.”


    The Bengals also were without tackle Fred Johnson, who has been on the COVID-19 list since Nov. 6.

    Taylor didn’t get into specifics about which coaches tested positive and which were deemed close contacts, a distinction that will determine if they are
    eligible to be part of next week’s game at Washington.

    “It’s just part of the adversity you’ve got to handle in this league,” he said. “It can come at you any hour of the night. You know, the guys that have
    COVID, players, coaches, would be out 10 days, and if you’re close contact, it’s five days.”

    Second-quarter stumbles




    I’ve been tracking the Losing Time stat for years, the one where the Bengals give up points in the final two minutes of the first quarter — something
    they’ve done more than any other team since the start of 2017.

    But the numbers are even more amazing when you combine Losing Time and the Steelers.

    Boswell’s 45-yard field goal with 1:48 left in the first half upped the Pittsburgh lead to 22-7 and marked the 23rd time in the past 28 games the Steelers
    have gotten points against the Bengals in the final two minutes of the first half.

    Against all opponents, the Bengals have surrendered points in the final two minutes of the first half in 38 of the past 57 games.

    But wait, there’s more.

    The second quarter as a whole has been a problem for the Bengals defense for nearly three years. Roethlisberger’s 8-yard touchdown pass to JuJu
    Smith-Schuster with 7:23 left in the first half marked the 42nd consecutive game in which the Bengals have allowed points in the second quarter.

    That is one shy of the record for any quarter since 1991, when the NFL began tracking play data. The Oakland Raiders gave up points in the second
    quarter in 43 consecutive games from 2003 to 2006.

    The Seahawks entered the day tied with the Bengals for the second-longest streak, having allowed points in the fourth quarter in 41 consecutive games
    before ending the run Sunday against the Rams.

    So the Bengals are all alone in second place with a chance to tie the record next week at Washington.



    https://theathletic.com/2200104/2020...w-tee-higgins/




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