Despite it all, I still can’t believe how far Carson Palmer has fallen since 2006. After taking the league by storm in his second and third seasons, Palmer hasn’t been great and he was especially dreadful today at Heinz Field. He threw two interceptions returned for a touchdown and another one late in the 4th quarter as the Bengals driving to at least make the game interesting.
The game didn’t start well for the Steelers as the Bengals jumped to an early 7-0 on a Palmer pass to tackle Andrew Whitworth. The Steelers looked off for the first drive and for most of the first half as the passing offense never clicked and the game looked destined to be 7-0 at halftime until Troy Polamalu made a huge play.
Polamalu jumped in front of Terrell Owens and returned the interception 45 yards for a brilliant touchdown. That seemed to light a spark under the rest of the team and the Steelers were dominant from that point forward.
The Steeler offense finally started clicking and they tacked on a FG before halftime and added another at the end of an awesome, 6-minute drive to make it 13-7 Steelers. The Bengals went 3-and-out and the Steelers offense responded with a 9:28 drive that ended up in a punt. But LaMarr Woodley intercepted Palmer’s first pass on the Bengals ensuing drive for a touchdown and the game was basically over. Polamalu added another interception late in the 4th quarter to seal the deal.
This one definitely had the feelings of a ‘trap game’ for most of the first half, but Polamalu changed that quickly. 43 nearly won this game himself and the rest of the defense wasn’t too shabby either.
The Steelers are obviously really banged up right now (even Polamalu was limping badly all game long) so it is important to just keep putting up W’s regardless of style points. Every win is of equal importance this late in the season. Nice to see the team grind this one out.
Bring on the Jets.