Steeler Nation, your Pittsburgh Steelers are now the 2014 AFC North Champions after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 27- 17 and finishing the regular season at 11-5! The regular season is now over and the playoff season is set to begin.
Let’s take a look at the Good, the Bad & the Ugly of this division winning victory!
The Steelers defense was the difference maker in this one with stand out performances by cornerbacks Brice McCain and Antwon Blake.
McCain had two key interceptions and helped neutralize A.J. Green. Blake made 7 tackles and a crucial strip and fumble recovery late in the game. Both players have really stepped up and preformed when their number has been called upon.
The defense also brought pressure on Andy Dalton collecting 3 sacks with DE Cam Heyward , ILB Sean Spence and OLB Jason Worilds all getting one.
The Steelers front seven has been coming on strong and the good play combination of Cam Heyward , DE Stephon Tuitt and NT Steve Mclendon has been a huge factor.
ILB Lawrence Timmons had another stellar game collecting 11 total tackles.
On offense WR Antonio Brown was the key play-maker, beginning with an unbelievable 71 yard punt return for a touchdown. Brown also capped off the game with a 63 yard catch and run for a touchdown to help secure the victory.
Brown finished the game with 7 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. He is electric every time he touches the football and showed why he is the top NFL wide receiver of 2014.
QB Ben Roethlisberger played the the game with a stomach virus but still toughed it out,completing 24-38 passes with two touchdowns and an interception . He had a QB rating of 96.1. Roethlisberger showed why he is one of the toughest players in the game today, as he put the finishing touches on an outstanding 2014 regular season.
Rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant also caught a 21 yard touchdown, his eighth of the season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers finished 11-5 , winning 4 straight and are the AFC North Champions. They now are heading for a home playoff game show down against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Steelers were pretty good under the circumstances but the call of the fake punt at a curtail point in the game could of been costly and defiantly was a bad call. The Bengals were not at all fooled and intercepted the pass by punter Brad Wing.
If your going to risk it on fourth down put the ball in your franchise quarterback’s hands. The Steelers almost out smarted themselves.
The hit to Le’Veon Bell‘s knee was an ugly sight indeed. The Steelers need their team MVP if they have any hopes to advance deep into the playoffs.Initial reports suggest that Bell’s injury is not as bad as it looked. The Steelers are hoping for Bells’ speedy recovery and their playoff future may depend on it.