NFL Nation: Bengals-Steelers


Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker


CINCINNATI -- The Bengals are fighting for respect this season, and they made a tremendous step in the right direction with one of the most thrilling victories for the franchise in recent memory.

Cincinnati overcame a 13-point deficit in the first half to beat the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers, 23-20, before a raucous crowd at Paul Brown Stadium. Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer threw a 4-yard touchdown pass with 14 second remaining to receiver Andre Caldwell to seal the win.

The victory snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Steelers (1-2) in Cincinnati, and it also puts the Bengals (2-1) in sole possession of second place in the AFC North. Both teams are currently chasing the undefeated Baltimore Ravens (3-0) in the division.

This is the second straight week the Steelers blew a fourth-quarter lead, as questions certainly linger about their early-season performance. The Bengals, meanwhile, are on a two-game winning streak and are living up to their billing as one of this year's surprise teams.

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers lead the Cincinnati Bengals, 10-7, at intermission.

Here are some halftime observations:

  • Pittsburgh went away from the running game really quickly. After three first-quarter possessions that resulted into zero points, the Steelers started throwing on first down often and going with empty backfields. It's apparent through the first half that Pittsburgh is still struggling to find out where its offensive strengths are. The Steelers have just 25 rushing yards on 14 carries in the first half.
  • The Bengals are showing they have nothing to lose by bringing a lot more pressures than they did in their first meeting against the Steelers. In the October meeting, Cincinnati played conservative defensively in an effort to try to avoid the big play. Thursday, the Bengals are blitzing early and often.
  • Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes had his best first half in recent memory. He caught three passes for 59 yards as the Bengals are electing to single-cover Holmes. His longest reception came on a 27-yard reception that set up a 37-yard field goal by Pittsburgh kicker Jeff Reed.
  • The replacements for Chad Ocho Cinco are playing well in the first half. Glenn Holt started and caught a nice skinny post in the first quarter for a 10-yard touchdown. Chris Henry has been the third receiver and caught two balls for 25 yards.

Bengals-Steelers inactives

November, 20, 2008
11/20/08
7:22
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- Here are the inactives for Thursday night's game between the Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals:

Steelers
CB Bryant McFadden
CB Deshea Townsend
CB Roy Lewis
LB Bruce Davis
OL Tony Hills
OL Marvel Smith
DE Orpheus Roye
QB Dennis Dixon

Bengals
S Chinedum Ndukwe
LB Eric Henderson
OL Scott Kooistra
OT Levi Jones
OL Andrew Whitworth
WR Chad Ocho Cinco
DE Antwan Odom
QB Carson Palmer

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