1:00 PM ET, October 3, 2004
Bengals at Steelers: What was your impression of Roethlisberger in his first "normal" start?
Roethlisberger looked solid in his debut last week even though he played in terrible conditions. This week he looked very good in leading his team to a victory. The Steelers are doing a good job putting him in position to win. They've surrounded him with two good running backs in Jerome Bettis and Duce Staley who are able to keep pressure off him. Bettis is doing a great job on the goal line, while Staley is the main back. They also have a good third-down back in Verron Haynes who allows the two main backs to get rest.
The use of three running backs give the Steelers distinctly different looks and allows Roethlisberger more time because defenses key on the run. As he proved Sunday, when he gets time he has the ability to do a lot of damage to opposing defenses. The Steelers are bringing him along the right way and may be rewarded late in the season when he has the confidence to make big plays in tight games.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.
The Bengals played much of the game without cornerback Rashad Bauman and safety Rogers Beckett, both of whom left early with possible concussions. ... The Bengals won seven of nine after starting 1-4 last year. ... Chad Johnson, doubled-teamed most of the game, was held to four catches for 54 yards. .. Steelers coach Bill Cowher is 18-7 against Cincinnati. ... The Steelers are 29-11 in October since 1994. ... The Steelers' Chris Gardocki punted five times in his 200th game, giving him 1,002 attempts without a block. ... The Steelers' James Farrior has three fumble recoveries in four games.
Team Stat Comparison
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||4.5||5.0|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|TD||6:24||JEREMI JOHNSON 2 YD PASS FROM CARSON PALMER (SHAYNE GRAHAM KICK) |
Drive: 6 plays, 27 yds, 3:03
|TD||9:07||JEROME BETTIS 2 YD RUN (JEFF REED KICK) |
Drive: 5 plays, 54 yds, 2:43
|TD||0:47||VERRON HAYNES 11 YD PASS FROM BEN ROETHLISBERGER (JEFF REED KICK) |
Drive: 11 plays, 80 yds, 5:32
|FG||8:09||SHAYNE GRAHAM 34 YD |
Drive: 5 plays, 32 yds, 1:48
|TD||6:25||RUDI JOHNSON 2 YD RUN (SHAYNE GRAHAM KICK) |
Drive: 14 plays, 71 yds, 6:26
|TD||5:57||JEROME BETTIS 1 YD RUN (JEFF REED KICK) |
Drive: 13 plays, 89 yds, 6:41
|TD||12:57||TROY POLAMALU 26 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (JEFF REED KICK)||17||28|