orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Sports Headlines

September 17, 2013

Steelers fall to 0-2 with 20-10 loss to Bengals

CINCINNATI — The Steelers haven't opened a season so badly in 11 years.

Rookie running back Giovani Bernard scored his first two NFL touchdowns, and Pittsburgh's offense had trouble getting first downs as the Cincinnati Bengals pulled away to a 20-10 victory on Monday night.

For the first time since 2002, the Steelers are off to an 0-2 start.

"We have work to do," coach Mike Tomlin said. "We aren't going to hide from that fact. We are going to embrace it and accept it, and understand that there is some misery that comes from the position we are in right now."

There's plenty of misery to embrace.

The Bengals (1-1) piled up 407 yards on one of the NFL's toughest defenses, holding the ball for more than 35 minutes. On offense, the Steelers had another game full of self-destruction, turning the ball over twice in scoring range.

Pittsburgh failed to get a first down on seven of its 12 possessions, giving the defense little time to catch its breath.

"There's not a lot of positives going on right now," said Ben Roethlisberger, who was 20 of 37 for 251 yards with one touchdown and a deflected interception. "We can't start doubting each other. Right now, there's a general feeling of being upset."

It was a chance for the Bengals to show they've supplanted the Steelers in the AFC North. They beat Pittsburgh 13-10 at Heinz Field last December to reach the playoffs, and now have moved ahead of them again with a rare Monday night win.

Cincinnati is 10-20 in Monday night games.

"This doesn't define anything until you look back at the end of the year," coach Marvin Lewis said.

Two Cincinnati rookies made the difference, putting their new imprint on an old rivalry.

Top pick Tyler Eifert made a 61-yard catch that set up Bernard's 7-yard run for his first NFL touchdown. Together, they gave a preview of what the Bengals could become with two new pass catchers in the offense.

The Bengals put the ball in the Andy Dalton's hands in the first half, letting him pass away while they all but abandoned the run against one of the NFL's top defenses. Dalton had an up-and-down game, finishing 25 of 45 for 280 yards.

Cincinnati's rookies provided the big plays.

Eifert got open between cornerback Ike Taylor and safety Ryan Clark for his 61-yard catch. Bernard finished the long drive with a 7-yard run, his first touchdown in the NFL, for the early lead.

The Steelers needed to get their offense moving after a horrid opener. They ran for only 32 yards and Roethlisberger was sacked five times during a 16-9 home loss to Tennessee. Worse, the Steelers lost Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey for the rest of the season with a torn knee ligament. Fernando Velasco, signed a week earlier, started in his place Monday.

They weren't significantly better in Cincinnati, managing only 44 yards on the ground.

"We've played two and lost two," running back Isaac Redman said. "That's as big of a hole as you can get. It don't look like Steeler football out there."

Roethlisberger got Pittsburgh's offense moving in spurts. He completed all five of his passes on a touchdown drive that pulled the Steelers into a 10-all tie at halftime, including completions of 19 and 43 yards to Emmanuel Sanders.

Shaun Suisham kicked a 44-yard field goal, and the Steelers had a chance to add to the lead in the first half. But another mistake — and they've had a lot of those already — provided the game's first turning point.

Pinned at their 3-yard line after a punt, the Steelers drove into scoring position. Roethlisberger completed a 34-yard pass to tight end David Paulson, who fumbled the ball as he was tackled. Adam "Pacman" Jones forced the fumble and recovered it at the Cincinnati 13-yard line.

Another of Roethlisberger's passes went off Jerricho Cotchery's hands and was picked off at the Bengals 13-yard line in the fourth quarter, essentially sealing it.

The most intriguing question: Could Steeler-turned-Bengal James Harrison leave a mark on Pittsburgh's mess of an offense?

Nope. He didn't have a sack or a tackle.

Notes: The Bengals rushed for 127 yards, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis getting 75 on 22 carries. Bernard ran eight times for 38 yards. ... The Bengals have consecutive wins over the Steelers for the first time since 2009. ... Roethlisberger was sacked twice by a defense that failed to get one in Chicago. ... Redman missed much of the first half while getting tested to see if he got a concussion. He was cleared to return and carried three times for four yards.

 

1
Text Only
Sports Headlines
  • Big 1st frame propels Mustangs past Cardinals

    Using a monstrous six-run first inning, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs handed District 21-3A champion Bridge City their first loss in 21-3A play with a 6-3 victory at Anderson Field Tuesday night.

    April 22, 2014

  • Softball playoffs crank up Friday

    Softball playoff teams will be busy at the end of the week including the Orangefield Lady Bobcats, the Bridge City Lady Cardinals and the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears.

    April 22, 2014

  • Ragsdale to take softball talents to LU

    Lamar University softball coach Holly Bruder announced that three student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent this week to play for Lamar starting in the 2014-15 season.

    April 22, 2014

  • Cardinals roll past Hawks for 20th victory

    The district champion Bridge City Cardinals pelted the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks 9-3 to continue their dominance of District 21-3A Friday night at Cardinal Field.

    April 18, 2014

  • Mustangs nip Cougars 2-0 to net 20th win

    West Orange-Stark’s magical 2014 campaign continues to reach nice milestones as Coach Shea Landry’s “crew” picked up win No. 20 by downing the Buna Cougars 2-0 Friday night.

    April 18, 2014

  • Lady Cards take second by downing H-J

    Getting a definite different kind of “grand slam” home run from senior Kelsey Fults, the Bridge City Lady Cardinals sealed the second-place playoff spot out of District 21-3A by toppling the Hardin-Jefferson Lady Hawks 6-1 at Lady Cardinal Field Friday evening.

    April 18, 2014

  • Bears blank Raiders to give Griff his 500th win

    A young Little CYpress-Mauriceville team gave long-time head coach Steve Griffith his 500th career coaching victory Thursday night as the Bears defeated the Lumberton Raiders 4-0 in District 20-4A action at Don Gibbens Field.

    April 18, 2014

  • Several Bear tracksters punch regional tickets

    Several Little Cypress-Mauriceville tracksters will move on to the Class 4A Region III Track & Field Championships after having success at the Area Meet featuring District 20-4A and District 19-4A Teams.

    April 17, 2014

  • Cox golfer LC-M golfer Cox heading to state

    Little Cypress-Mauriceville’s Lauren Cox will take her golf talents to the Class 4A State Golf Tournament by placing fourth overall at the Class 4A Region III Golf Championships that were held at River Ridge Golf Club Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Locals rack up at 3A Area Meet

    Orange County 3A schools shined Wednesday and punched their tickets to the Class 3A Region III Track & Field Championships by placing well at the Area Meet in Splendora.

    April 17, 2014

Leader Sports
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide