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Ben Roethlisberger didn't have to throw for 300 yards or make a dozen or so huge plays for the Steelers to win. All he had to do was be effective and play mistake-free football.
He did that.
The "A" might be a good grade for him, but I was a little upset that he didn't do more to protect his thumb. When he first hurt his foot, Roethlisberger was getting rid of the ball quickly and avoiding those long periods of holding the ball and taking hits.
He took too many hits that were on him in this game, so the sacks are what brings the grade down slightly. Outside of that, his 15-of-23, two-touchdown performance earns the highest marks.
Running Backs: A+
Rumors of the death of the team's rushing attack are apparently very exaggerated.
This was where the Steelers won the game; they completely outplayed the Bengals when it came to physical elements. There's no better example than in the running game, where Rashard Mendenhall scored twice and continually pushed the Bengals back.
Isaac Redman also had a nice day with some big runs. Redman has made a name for himself as a tough runner who gets the big yards in the middle of the field.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: A
Nothing to argue here, and another milestone for Hines Ward (12,000 receiving yards). Mike Wallace caught two touchdowns and Antonio Brown made some of his usual highlight-reel plays on some big pass attempts.
Heath Miller and the team's tight ends were also big in this game since the Steelers ran a lot of two and three-tight end packages. They stepped up. The play of Weslye Saunders also continues to impress.