Offensive line stands out in Steelers' loss
A maligned offensive line is coming off arguably its best game of the season.
Willie Parker rushed for a 93 yards in a 23-20 loss to the Bengals on Sunday, although he averaged less than 2 yards a carry in the second half. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, meanwhile, was sacked just one time.
"The offensive line did a great job," said Roethlisberger, who threw for 276 yards and accounted for two touchdowns against the Bengals. "We gave up only one sack, and that was a coverage sack."
The improvement the offensive line appeared to make was of little consolation to right tackle Willie Colon following the Steelers' second straight loss.
"We had a good week of practice, and to come out here and not finish, it's tough," Colon said.
• The Steelers are off today after spending Monday getting treatment and reviewing film of their first loss in Cincinnati since 2001. They return to practice Wednesday, and coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers will "get back in the lab, turn over every stone possible to find a winning formula to make us victorious." Translation: the Steelers will emphasize fundamentals as they prepare for a game against the visiting San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
"That's his job, to manage us," Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend said of Tomlin. "I'm sure he'll have a plan of action for us to follow."
• Wide receiver Santonio Holmes has cooled off following a hot start. Holmes, who caught nine passes for 131 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers' season opener, dropped several balls in a 17-14 loss to the Bears on Sept. 20. He had just one catch for 18 yards against the Bengals and figured prominently in one of the game's turning points. That came at the beginning of the third quarter, when a miscommunication between Holmes and Roethlisberger resulted in an easy interception for Johnathan Joseph, who returned the gift pick 22 yards for a touchdown. When asked what happened on the play, Roethlisberger said, "We won't point fingers or point blame."
• The Steelers find themselves in third place in the AFC North, two games behind the undefeated Ravens and one back of the Bengals. Free safety Ryan Clark said it's too early for the Steelers to become preoccupied with the division's standings.
"We can't focus on Baltimore," Clark said. "Obviously, they're undefeated, so we can't catch them next week anyway. So, we just win that one game and keep building on that and try to build win after win."
• After making a tackle following a catch by a Bengals wide receiver near the line of scrimmage, Steelers cornerback William Gay pretended to cradle a baby. Chad Ochocinco, who knows a thing or two about celebrations, was none too impressed with Gay's rendition of rocking the baby.
"Pointless," the Bengals wide receiver said.
2 — Combined wins by last season's Super Bowl participants through the first three weeks of the season.
3 — Points the Steelers have scored in the fourth quarter this season.
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