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Steelers Breakdown: Week Seven

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A closer look at the Steelers' decisive 29-14 win over Cincinnati Sunday at Heinz Field.

Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell had 35 carries in Sunday’s win over the Bengals including 20 of the 27 offensive plays in the second half until he was spelled by James Conner in the last series after the game was well in hand. 

Bell relishes the heavy workload. When asked after the game how many more games this season can he carry the ball over 30 times a game, he responded: 

“How many more games do we have left. I feel great. The coaches put a lot of trust in me.” 

Bell was the Player of the Game by amassing 134 yards on the ground and adding 3 catches for 58 yards including the highlight play of the game, which was a screen pass that turned into a 42-yard run to the Bengal 17-yard line midway through the second quarter. The play fueled a Steeler field goal that put them ahead for good at 17-14 as the Bengals would not score again. 

“That was one of the better stiff arms in my life. I saw a little seam and hit it as hard as I could. I broke through but I didn’t know how many [defenders] were left behind,” Bell said. “When I have a play like that, it gives me even more confidence the rest of the game.” 

The Steelers tacked on four more field goals as kicker Chris Boswell was the Top Scorer of the Game, as he was a perfect five-for-five with field goals of 22, 24, 49, 41, and 25 yards and two-for-two on pat’s. 

“I was in a good rhythm today and I was hitting the ball well,” Boswell said. “The [field goals] definitely add up. I feel between pat’s and field goals, I gotta make them all.” 

The Steelers were not able to shake the Cincinnati in the second half and it looked like the Bengals were getting some momentum to make a run midway through the fourth quarter and trailing 26-14. However, the Steelers turned in the Play of the Game to squash the Bengals’ comeback attempt. 

The Steelers were facing fourth and 7 from their own 40-yard line so no one was surprised when they lined up to punt. It was the Bengals who were surprised on the play though, as safety Robert Golden (a quarterback in high school) took the direct snap and hit a streaking Darius Heyward-Bey down the right sideline for a 44 yard completion to the Bengals 16 yard line. 

“Any time we can help on special teams to secure a win, that’s always a plus,” Golden said. “We worked on that play all week and I was glad we were able to execute the play.” 

Heyward-Bey was just as excited about the play. 

“It was a great throw. I just did my job. I had to make sure I made the play,” Heyward-Bey said. “It’s great that the special teams can pick up some slack.”

Ryan Shazier led the defense with eight tackles including one tackle for loss. The Steelers had four sacks in the game with T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward, Tyson Alualu, and Bud Dupree each recording a sack. Head coach Mike Tomlin was pleased with all three phases of the game. He credited the defense with pressuring Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton throughout the game.

“[The pressure] was a combination of rush and coverage. You need all those things,” Tomlin said. “It was rush and coverage working together. That’s always the case.”

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