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Steelers 19, Bengals 14

steelershelmet.jpgNFL.com gets it wrong with this:

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger played like a rookie, so the 32-year-old running back and the old-style defense bailed him out in Pittsburgh's eighth straight win.

Carson Palmer played like a rookie - throwing into triple coverage and accepting a safety late in the game. Ben Roethlisberger, who turned the ball over once, didn't force a play all afternoon, was 15 for 21, and played a smart game. Rookies don't play smart games - rookies throw into triple coverage and walk back into the end zone late in the game.

Jerome Bettis chipped in with 129 on 29 carries, and though the Steelers - despite playing like boobs in the red zone - eked out an ugly win today against an always dangerous Bengals team. Time of Possession was again in the Steelers favor, about 39 to 21, and the defense stepped up when it had to.

Some telling stats today include:

                 Steelers    Bengals
First Downs          21         10
Punt Return Yds     181         90
T.O.P.            38:56      21:04
Net Rushing         151         62
Sacks                 3          7

In other words, an ugly game. Today's game may mark the something else, though, as Plaxico Burress left with a hammy injury and Kendrell Bell re-aggravated his groin. We'll see how those injuries mount up, and when Duce Staley can return. Next week: a Gibbs-coached (but sliding) Washington.

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