That’s about the only way to describe Sunday’s somewhat stunning 18-12 setback to the Bengals Sunday at home that gives Cincy the clear path to winning the AFC North with a 7-2 record. The Steelers, who were held to four field goals on the day, fall to 6-3.
It’s the first time since 1998 that Cincy has swept the Steelers. The Bengals came hard after Ben Roethlisberger all day, and held the high powered Pittsburgh offense in check to the tune of just 226 yards. Roethlisberger was 20-for-40 for just 174 yards with a pick, and he was sacked four times, but hurried and under pressure all day.
The Steelers did have a last chance down 18-12, as they had four shots to get a drive going, but instead threw four times, all incomplete, including a fourth down play where Roethlisberger was under pressure and never had a shot to complete a pass.
Cincinnati didn’t light it up on offense, but did enough. They had 218 yards, and Carson Palmer could have been picked off no less than four times, but the Steelers defensive backs were unable to make a play. Palmer was 18-for-30 for 178 yards.
The only touchdown the whole day was a Bernard Scott 96-yard kickoff return for a score that gave Cincy a 6-3 lead with 4:26 to play in the first quarter. The special teams were unable to get a handle on Scott, who cut through the Steelers for the only six of the day.
Shayne Graham was the rest of the Cincy offense, kicking four field goals, including a 43 yarder with 1:56 left to force the Steelers to go for 7, which in the end wasn’t even close as they didn’t even get a first down.
Jeff Reed was the entire day of offense for the Steelers, kicking four field goals. Otherwise, four trips to the end zone were useless. The wide outs couldn’t catch when it got to them, and the offensive line had probably their worst game of 09 trying to protect Ben.
The now 6-3 Steelers will be in Kansas City next week.