The Pittsburgh offense started quickly by scoring a touchdown on its first possession, a two yard pass from Roethlisberger to Mewelde Moore. It was Moore’s first of three touchdowns on the day. Moore was the offensive standout, once again filling in for Willie Parker. Moore rushed for 120 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger completed 17 of 28 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns.
The Steelers defense dominated the Bengals offense and sacked Ryan Fitzpatrick, filling in for the injured Carson Palmer, seven times. James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, and Lawrence Timmons had two sacks each. James Farrior contributed one to round out the total.
Fitzpatrick and the Bengals showed a little offensive life in the second quarter as the Steelers conceded the dink and dunk passes in an effort to limit the big plays. The Steelers offense also did very little after the opening drive and seemed to want to let the Bengals hang around. They went into the half with a 10-7 lead, however the fourth quarter was all Steelers.
Of greater concern out of Steelers camp are the injuries which continue to mount. The Steelers welcomed back Brett Keisel to the defensive line however Pro-Bowl nose tackle, Casey Hampton, remained out with an injured groin.
Also missing action was starting left tackle Marvel Smith, and starting halfback Willie Parker. Troy Polamalu left the game with a head injury after a hard tackle jarred his helmet loose. Starting cornerback Bryant McFadden also left the game with an arm injury and looks to be lost for an extended period of time.
The Steelers now begin a very difficult stretch in their schedule. The next four games consist of home games versus the Giants, Colts, and Chargers. The one road game is versus the Redskins on Nov. 3rd. If the Steelers can win three of those games they should be in the drivers seat in the AFC, however they will need to get healthy in a hurry. This is a stretch where a few missteps can pull them right back into the pack.