The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

September 17, 2013

Bengals drop Steelers to 0-2 with 20-10 victory

(Continued)

2. THE NEW GUYS MAKE CINCINNATI DANGEROUS: First-round pick Tyler Eifert caught a 61-yard pass that set up Bernard's 7-yard touchdown run. The second-round pick from North Carolina got his second TD on his own, taking a short pass from Andy Dalton for a 27-yard score. Dalton has a lot of options now with a tight end who can move around the field and a running back who can catch it and make 'em miss. "A lot of weapons, man," All-Pro receiver A.J. Green said. "That's the biggest thing."

3. STEELERS ARE HURTING: They managed only 32 yards on the ground during an opening 16-9 loss to Tennessee at Heinz Field. Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey was lost for the season with a knee injury in that one. Fernando Velasco, signed a week earlier, started in his place Monday, and the Steelers didn't do much better, gaining only 44 yards on the ground. They failed to get a first down on seven of their 12 possessions, which kept their defense from getting much rest. "There's not a lot of positives going on right now," said quarterback 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."

4. WHAT'S UP WITH THAT DEFENSE? Pittsburgh's success has been built on its defense, which was No. 1 in the NFL last season but has played out of character in the back-to-back losses. Tennessee committed to running the ball in the opener and picked up 112 yards. The Bengals ran for 127, most of them in the second half when they were putting the game away. The offense's repeated three-and-out series are putting a lot of pressure on the defense, but coverage breakdowns have been involved, too. "We do have to be a lot more sound," safety Ryan Clark said. "If we don't, this is going to keep happening."

5. HARRISON WASN'T A FACTOR: A lot of the attention was on Bengals linebacker James Harrison playing his former team for the first time. He didn't have a tackle or a sack, and gave Roethlisberger a hug on the field afterward — the closest he got to the quarterback all night. "We just talked," Harrison said.

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