I know, this isn't just a lesson from the Bengals game. But in a way it is.
The Steelers mixed it up early in Cincinnati. They ran some end arounds with their fast receivers, allowed the no-huddle to be more than a last-ditch offensive scheme and allowed Ben Roethlisberger to make some of the calls.
It worked. The Steelers jumped out to an early 14-point lead. Then they went conservative and tried to protect it against a team that does have the ability to strike quickly.
It got close in a hurry and then it got scary.
The Steelers defense is still a top-notch group, but they aren't the turnover-crazy, quarterback-devouring group they used to be. They allow more runs (which must tighten up this week), they don't always have good coverage and they are banged up more than most teams could stand.
They shouldn't be asked to win every game. They just won a game last week. It's time the offense really put a team away. Let's make it this week.
Keep the pedal down. Punch the Bengals in the face with your offense. The Steelers offense should be throwing all day and should only start protecting if they get a lead of around twenty points. That's when it's a little bit safer. Until then, keep mixing it up, trying new plays and seeing exactly what can catch an opponent off guard.