Emotionless Bengals can’t get it done against Steelers

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PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 22: Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals carries the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first half during the game at Heinz Field on October 22, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 22: Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals carries the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first half during the game at Heinz Field on October 22, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Marvin Lewis led the Cincinnati Bengals into Pittsburgh and had the same results. They lost their fifth straight to the AFC North rivals.

This was supposed to be the game. This was a chance to show how far they’ve come in the time since an 0-3 start to the season. Instead, the same old results reared their familiar heads and the Bengals lost an important game to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 29-14.

The Bengals have now lost five straight games to the Steelers and continue to look clueless in the process. Frankly, it gets old trying to find something positive in the endless string of L’s that Cincinnati posts. Marvin Lewis had two weeks to get his team motivated and prepared to face their enemy from the Steel City. What fans witnessed was a Bengals team that came out fired up and quickly lost its way.

In the days prior to the Week 7 matchup, Lewis insisted that it was just another game. Well. That’s how the Bengals played. The effort was just another sad saga in the growing farce that masquerades as a divisional rivalry. Essentially, Cincinnati looked like a team that was trying to keep from getting blown out. Eventually, that approach wasn’t enough to stave off the end result.

When Dre Got Face Palmed 

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The defining moment of the game wasn’t hard to pick out. When Le’Veon Bell bounced Dre Kirkpatrick like a child’s playtoy, the game was over. That play defined the attitude of the Steelers and the “just-another-game” approach of the Bengals.

It was a play and response that will either spur the Bengals to get better and become a team with emotion or one that is doomed to forever be judged by the caliber of its opponents. Wait. You wanna know what I’m saying? Is this a blatant call out of the entire coaching staff or just one coach in particular? Let’s look at the situation another way. Hate him if you must, but Mike Tomlin has a certain attitude on the sidelines. He expects perfection from his players and he’s not afraid to approach the officials about what’s happening on the field. Conversely, Lewis usually looks like a deer caught in headlights. But, that’s a subject for another time.

The Bengals were not prepared for the Steelers and it showed. As long as Marvin Lewis is roaming (actually standing in confusion) on the sidelines, this team will not be able to compete with teams that have grit and determination. Coming from the Bye Week with no stamina and a lack of drive…is inexcusable.

Lack Of Execution

After giving Bill Lazor a pat on the back for turning things around, he deserves a noogie this week. In the name of all the football gods, why does he continue to let Jeremy Hill touch the ball? Hill ran the ball four times for seven yards.

The Steelers have been struggling against the run. Just two weeks prior, Leonard Fournette gashed them for 181 yards and two TDs. He did it on 28 carries. Why did Joe Mixon not get more touches? On seven carries, Mixon had 48 yards. But, that was in the first half. He had zero carries after the break. Huh? Yeah, my response too. If you extend his numbers to 28 carries, he could have had 192 yards. Oh well.

Did anyone tell Lazor the Steelers were having trouble stopping the run? Doesn’t matter. The Bengals don’t make second-half adjustments anyway.

Next: Oh Well

But, here’s a tip for Lewis, Lazor, Paul Guenther and Mike Brown. Lifelong fans are fed up. They won’t be afraid to make an in-season adjustment. They’ll stop watching until things get better…or another head rolls. Want another free nugget of wisdom? Bengals-Steelers is not just another game. Stop telling the players it is.

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