Home Steelers 2023 Season Rapid-Fire Thoughts as the Steelers Pick Apart the Bengals

Rapid-Fire Thoughts as the Steelers Pick Apart the Bengals

by Steeldad

And this is why they play the games… The Pittsburgh Steelers, losers of three-straight whipped the Cincinnati Bengals 34-11 to stay alive in the AFC Playoff Race. Here are my quick thoughts as the game unfolded.


-Not much to say here. Mason Rudolph was terrific. 290 yards and two TDs. He has to start next week.

-That first throw to George Pickens was 100% planned. Had to get him involved early and it went for six. That’s also a throw that Kenny Pickett struggles with.

-It’s pretty simple for Mason Rudolph. When he can go through his progressions, set and throw, he’s a quality QB.

-Dan Moore was called for a hold that wasn’t a hold. Trey Hendrickson literally fell down. Brutal call there.

-Pat Freiermuth had a career game against the Bengals in Cincy and then today he had zero receptions. Football is a funny game.

-I honestly thought Darnell Washington was a better athlete. I’m not knocking the young man at all, I just anticipated a little more from him as a receiver. That said, I like how they are trying to get him involved at times.

-Jaylen Warren’s block on Calvin Austin III’s TD run should be required viewing for all players. A week after Pickens did nothing on Warren’s run, it was as punishing a block as you’ll see by a running back.

-Najee Harris had a really productive afternoon running for 79 yards on 19 carries with a score. There was nothing flashy about his game as he largely stayed between the tackles and moved the piles forward.

-No secret here if you listened to the Podcast this week but all of us felt that George Pickens would have benefited from being benched. Mike Tomlin clearly knows better than we do. 195 yards and two scores is what he’s capable of more often than not but the maturity still has to come.

-I thought the O-Line was pretty solid for the most part. Had a few breakdowns here and there but overall it was a good showing for them and it was needed.


-There’s something to be said for simplifying things. With Patrick Peterson and  Eric Rowe at safety due to injuries and suspensions, Teryl Austin kept it pretty simple for the most part and it paid off. A lot more zone coverage seemed to really help.

-T.J. Watt’s first half sack was a great example of hustle. Hard work and talent can do a lot for you but so too can all-out effort.

-The loss of Elandon Roberts is just a massive blow. Likely a torn pectoral muscle. It leaves Myles Jack and Mykal Walker as the main LBs. Jack played as well as could be expected for his first game action.

-Great sack from Alex Highsmith near the end of the third. He’s been so close on so many other occasions. And then he added to his night with a huge interception.

-This game was a perfect example of why you sign a guy like Patrick Peterson. His veteran leadership was huge with all of the moving parts in the secondary.

-What a nice game for Eric Rowe. He collected seven tackles, three solo stops and pass defended and an interception. Not bad for a guy literally coming in off the street a few weeks ago.

-There seemed to be a really nice rotation going along the defensive front for the Steelers today. Keeping Cam Heyward and Larry Ogunjobi fresh is vital for the overall success of the team.

Special Teams

-Perfect night for Chris Boswell who was 2/2 on his field goals and 4/4 on his PATs.


-I’d really like to see more of an effort to just move the sticks in the second half when you have this kind of lead. Too many deep shots on third down. Keep the clocking running. Eventually they got down to this.

-Mike Tomlin won both of his challenges today. Talk about a Festivus Miracle!!

-Terrific job by the offensive staff getting Mason Rudolph ready to go. I thought they did a lot of things that fit exactly what he does best.

Up Next

-The Steelers head to Seattle where they haven’t won since the 1980’s. If they want to keep their playoff hopes alive then they need a win.

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