Bengals head to the playoffs, Steelers head home

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The Cincinnati Bengals have made the playoffs, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are done.

In a tough, back-and-forth AFC North battle, Bengals kicker Josh Brown hit a 43-yard field goal with three seconds remaining to give the Bengals a 13-10 win. That win clinched a playoff berth for the Bengals and eliminated the Steelers from playoff contention.

The Bengals’ defense made life rough for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger all day, pressuring him constantly and intercepting him twice, including on the last-minute pass that set up Brown’s game-winning field goal. Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins, in particular, was outstanding, with 2.5 sacks, and Bengals cornerback Leon Hall intercepted Roethlisberger and returned the pick for six to score the game’s first points.

Bengals receiver A.J. Green had an outstanding game, with 10 catches for 116 yards, but he was practically doing it all himself offensively: Andy Dalton threw two interceptions, and Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis could do nothing on the ground, with just 14 yards on 15 carries.

But great defense was all it took to get the Bengals to the playoffs, and that’s where they’re headed, for the second straight year.

116 responses to “Bengals head to the playoffs, Steelers head home

  1. I’m a huge steelers fan, but they just plain sucked this year. Rothlesberger sucks, Haley sucks, they all suck. That interception might be Ben’s worst throw ever. They’re all old and slow. Where’s Bruce Ariens when you need him? Go back to Ireland Rooney. Go Vikes.

  2. Geno Atkins made an insane play. He picks up some fat, fully padded Steelers lineman off of his feet (Foster I think), throws him effortlessly out of the way, then sacks Ben. It was one of the best defensive plays I’ve seen all year. It took a matter of a few seconds for him to do all that. Because the play was made by one of the non-darling teams of the media it probably won’t get much play. It should though.

    As for the Steelers, nobody ever thought they were any good except for Steelers fans.

  3. Wonder if Ben is going to blame Haley again?

    Last game he blamed Haley right after throwing the INT to lose, this game he tosses an INT to let the Bengals win….

    Not that I’m a Haley fan but Ben’s run his mouth when he’s been the problem.

  4. Oh well, what can u do and say about this Steelers team? As a fan I am extremely disappointed with lack of effort. At least Cincy and the I can’t even call them Ratbirds right now Ravens got in. All the Steelers haters out there, you have lots of reasons to make fun of us, cause we truly deserve it. Good luck to all the teams out there who are moving on. Yes even the Bengals and Ravens.

  5. So does Haley get blamed by Drama Ben for another frame losing INT? Or do we get a laundry list off supposed injuries and excuses from him?

    Well done Bengals. Full credit Lewis for pulling an unspectacular roster into the playoffs again.

  6. The bengals finally found a way not to lose the big game, even in spite of Marvin. That was one hell of a game though for both teams. Feels good going to the playoffs, feels even better going to the playoffs by knocking out the steelers.

  7. The title might as well say Hell has frozen over.
    —————————————————-

    When the Browns reach the playoffs, then it’ll say that.

  8. All hail the tee shirt champs congrats Ravens. Now you can wear last years on one day and this years the next. Seriously you are what your record says you are and we are not very good.

  9. I wonder if Simms and Vance are done watching whatever the hell game they were watching cause it certainly wasn’t the same one I was.

  10. Never seen a team win a game without ever crossing their opponent’s 30 yard line and been held to 14 yards rushing.

    Now, I’ve seen it all.

  11. Who is worse, Tomlin or Haley? Why do you even try the 53yd field goal? Why try to score with 24 seconds from your 25? Both should be fired, ship Mendenhall out, pray that DeCastro remembers how to play football again and hope for a better year.

  12. Its like Haley was punishing Ben for his transgressions last week. By my count they passed ONCE on first down all game. Terrible play calling all game and terrible execution. Defense played lights out again. Offense sucked a$$.

  13. Bengals won in spite of Marvin Lewis.

    1) Played Cook at Center last three weeks and line has been swiss cheese and Lewis doesn’t see it.

    2) Insistance of running BJGE between tackles. Peerman, did he get a carry?

    3) Chose to go on 4th and 22 instead of kick FG of 51 yards with wind?

    4) Chose to kick unheard of 56 yard FG attempt with wind against the kicker and record for the locale was 52????!!!! Failure put ball on Bengals side of field with steelers needing 10-15 yard for potential game winning FG? STUPID!

    The D overcame other issue such as constant holding by the Steeler’s O-Line not getting called (two weeks in a row).

  14. Between injuries and age the Steelers are falling behind their division foes.

    There’s absolutely no excusing Mike Tomlin’s calls today (a 53 yard FG combined with not simply going to overtime when you’re backed up on your 20 and only 40 seconds to go). That being said no, firing him will not solve:

    – A still leaking offensive line
    – An aging defense, especially with Hampton/Harrison
    – Inexperience in the secondary (though Cortez Allen kept the game from being 20-10 or worse)
    – Offensive players not being on the same page with Haley’s system
    – Inability to gain 1-2 yards in critical situations.

    Simply put, the Steelers did not have a good year, hardly beat anyone of consequence, and deserve to be watching the postseason from home. And this is coming from a Steeler fan.

  15. steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says: Dec 23, 2012 4:20 PM

    Wow, this is so rigged. The league must be purged.
    =====================

    Yeah, it couldn’t just be that they didn’t play very well this year, have an ancient roster and poor offensive planning from Haley, and lost a must-win game against a division rival. Has to be a conspiracy against them.

    *facepalm*

  16. pooflingingmonkey | Dec 23, 2012, 4:21 PM EST
    Parade of disenchanted Stillers fans reminding us about rings from years past in 3, 2, 1… jealous much. When your team gets that many you can brag until you do stow it …just saying

  17. vincentbojackson says:
    Dec 23, 2012 4:28 PM
    Never seen a team win a game without ever crossing their opponent’s 30 yard line and been held to 14 yards rushing.

    Now, I’ve seen it all.

    ====================================

    You obviously missed the Steeler’s game against Houston a few years ago at home when Tommy Maddox had 2 INT’s returned for TD’s and Houston only gained 40+ yards of total offense and won.

    This kind of loss is nothing new to me.

  18. I am pumped for the Bengals to make it to the playoffs for a second straight year, but with an offensive performance like and some of the worst coaching I have seen in a while – I get the feeling it may unfortunately be another one and done

  19. caseyanthonymunoz | Dec 23, 2012, 4:25 PM EST
    Having a rapist as a QB? Karma.

    I am sure you realize what karma means when you accuse someone of an unproven assault. What comes around goes around little man.

  20. well done bengals…congrats. we will see you in baltimore next week. and really nofool? the record says ravens better than steelers. enjoy watching cinci and baltimore in the playoffs and we will see you next year

  21. Well that’s 2 out of 3 of the most annoying fan bases out of it (Saints, Steelers), now if someone would just take care of the Packers, we can all enjoy this post-season as normal fans of the game.

  22. The Stillers look to me like a slightly better version of the Bears.

    Old and slow, their shot to advance is left behind and it is time to rebuild.

    Starting with a young QB that can be developed for the day, maybe soon, when Big Ben is done.

  23. I’m a diehard Bengals fan. I don’t care what people say the Steelers are still the Gold standard of the AFCN!! Great job Bengals, now let’s get the monkey off our backs by winning. Good season Steelers, see you next year because I know yall will be hungry. Let’s go Who Dey Nation!

  24. brentfarve says:
    Dec 23, 2012 4:41 PM
    HaHa now the Ravens will win it all this year!! Guaranteed! !!

    If not all of us trash talking Ravens fans will really look stupid.

    3 3 what do you mean will when you already… You finish it.lmao.

  25. Nofoolnodrool says:
    Dec 23, 2012 4:41 PM
    caseyanthonymunoz | Dec 23, 2012, 4:25 PM EST
    Having a rapist as a QB? Karma.

    I am sure you realize what karma means when you accuse someone of an unproven assault. What comes around goes around little man.

    ====================================

    Ben was actually accused TWICE.

    And I hope you realize how ridiculous you sound by claiming “what goes around comes around” when someone insults your QB or your “terrible” towels…

  26. Wow, Steelers are cooked. Great job this year Ravens/Bengals. We’ll be rooting for y’all in the playoffs. Good luck!

  27. Good I was tired of hearing that stupid black and yellow song.

    That song, like the steelers season and roster, is past it’s prime.
    Time to shelf them and let the new era emerge.

    Yeah yeah I know you got rings, but you might want to stop reminiscing, you’re starting to sound as pitiful as cowboys fans.

  28. I love reading all the comments on this title. Just shows how many of us are jealous of all the Steelers have done. The Steelers did not play well after the Giant game and did not deserve in the playoffs, but so many of us are all happy because of that. No one wants to play them and all the comments point to this. I guess we all wished our teams have been as competive even when playing bad.

  29. randallflagg52 says:
    Dec 23, 2012 5:06 PM
    Nofoolnodrool says:
    Dec 23, 2012 4:41 PM
    caseyanthonymunoz | Dec 23, 2012, 4:25 PM EST
    Having a rapist as a QB? Karma.

    I am sure you realize what karma means when you accuse someone of an unproven assault. What comes around goes around little man.

    ====================================

    Ben was actually accused TWICE.

    And I hope you realize how ridiculous you sound by claiming “what goes around comes around” when someone insults your QB or your “terrible” towels…

    0 0 do you know what accused means? Someone with limited capacity for logical thought may think its ridiculous but most would not. Just saying…

  30. joerevs300 says:
    Dec 23, 2012 4:33 PM
    Between injuries and age the Steelers are falling behind their division foes.

    There’s absolutely no excusing Mike Tomlin’s calls today (a 53 yard FG combined with not simply going to overtime when you’re backed up on your 20 and only 40 seconds to go). That being said no, firing him will not solve:

    – A still leaking offensive line
    – An aging defense, especially with Hampton/Harrison
    – Inexperience in the secondary (though Cortez Allen kept the game from being 20-10 or worse)
    – Offensive players not being on the same page with Haley’s system
    – Inability to gain 1-2 yards in critical situations.

    Simply put, the Steelers did not have a good year, hardly beat anyone of consequence, and deserve to be watching the postseason from home. And this is coming from a Steeler fan.

    ————————————————–

    I’m from the ‘Burgh originally so I was born a Steeler fan. Your analogy is spot on!

    They need new blood on D and another year to jell in Haley’s system. Some new blood at running back would be a big help as well.

  31. Has the torch been passed to the new generation of football…kinda looks that way with the Bengals, Colts, Redskins, etc…

  32. Ravens own steelers lol as a die hard steelers fan I say congrats bengals on your win it came down to who coach made a dumber decision and well u seen the outcome, should have kneeled and went to overtime, I hope they address some of there issues such as offensive line defensive secondary back up qb and ravens yes u made the playoffs but u won’t make it far and owning steelers get real u lost to steelers with a old man at qb so enjoy your short trip to playoffs and bengals I will root for you but if u play then like today u one and done

  33. Whatever mythical, magical powers the Roethlisberger Obsessives and media believe he might have had, those strange powers have evaporated into thin air.
    The disappearing act started in Super Bowl 45 in 2010 and has continued well into this, the 2012 season…
    And to all those (you know who you are) who have said the offense doesn’t need to score points and that you enjoy 9-6 defensive struggles, today was such a game. The Steelers’ defense allowed three points in a 13-10 loss.
    Pretty typical throughout the course of the past nine seasons…

  34. Pittsburgh’s defense is still one of the top of the league (I’m a Bengals fan). However, can it continue it Dick LeBeau retires?

    He’s a young 75, but someday the end will come and will his replacement be as good?

  35. Good game bungles. While its never fun to have a down year, it will be a nice change to draft in an earlier spot come April. The defense may be aging, however, they’re still damn good. A good draft and a year when half the starters aren’t watching from the sidelines will put the Black and Gold right back in the mix

    This division will be WIDE open next year.

    GO STEELERS!

  36. Poorly coached game on both sides of the ball especially Pittsburgh. Both coaches were trying to go for record length field goals in the closing minutes and surrendering incredible field position for the other team, and the Steelers not kneeling on the ball when there was only 30 seconds left at their own 10? This game was coached from a child-like perspective. Decisions that only a 12 year old kid would make. Unbelievable!!!!!

    I’m sorry. I love Tomlin, but I really think he just doesn’t get it. His ability to make late game decisions has always been awful. I really think the Steelers should cut the cord? Do you know how many guys out there who would just looove to be able to take this team over. … Nick Saban, Gruden, even Cowher once again.

  37. Thought we were still good enough but the offense wasn’t. They got the talent but aren’t getting it done. Maybe next year….. The steelers will be back!! The Ravens are next out the tournament, bank on it!!!!!!!

  38. I keep hearing these Steelers fans saying that we are good because we got to draft earlier. Well, I’ll give you AJ Green, but Geno Atkins was a 4th rounder! You all passed on him. Get over it.

  39. Quick, somebody grab all the terrible towels before Steeler nation turns them into nooses and hangs themselves.

    You heard it here first:
    2013 AFC North Champions -> Cleveland Browns

  40. Please explain to me how bret keisel got flagged for taking a knee on.a sack celebration. They called in unsportsman like cause he left his feet. His celebration was no different than “tebowing”….so what was difference????

  41. Congrats to Cincy! I’ll always have love in my heart for the Law Firm and AJ Green is amazing. I enjoy watching Zimmer’s defense also.

  42. tluke25

    Gruden and Saban??? Really Saban picked Culpepper over Brees, among many other bad decisions, and sunk the Dolphins for years? Gruden took a Dungy built TB team and ruined them within 2 years.

    Tomlin made some very questionable calls over this season but he has been more successful than Cowher at the same point in their careers. Remember, Cowher lost way too many AFC Champ games that he should not have.

    I’m frustrated too but firing a mostly successful coach based on emotion isn’t a smart move. Tomlin deserves at least one more season.

  43. xofootballer says:
    Dec 23, 2012 5:49 PM
    Team is poorly coached. Big Ben and Steelers won’t ever win another title under this head coach.

    1 1 I am sure you based this on years of being an expert fortune teller. Bet you believe in Mayan calendars also…just saying.

  44. Lost a SB primarily due to offensive ineptness,Tebowed out in round one,no playoffs.Definitely a downward trend. The only people who can’t see this are Steelers fans.

  45. The Steelers are finally missing the Chin.. Your coach is showing what he is made off… That SB you guys last won… That was all the Chin..

    Now to my Bengals..
    The old Bengals would have rolled over on that game… Thank god Carson wasnt on this team.. Instead of 2 INTs it would have been 5..

    I think my Bengals have done well this year and Im very proud of them… I still feel we are 1 WR away from a real SB..

    2 years in a row…
    Thats my Bengals!

  46. raqaiw | Dec 23, 2012, 6:10 PM EST
    Lost a SB primarily due to offensive ineptness,Tebowed out in round one,no playoffs.Definitely a downward trend. The only people who can’t see this are Steelers fans.

    Can’t tell who your team is but unless you have three SB appearances in the last ten years you are just talking trash . You have an opinion and nothing more thanks for your in depth contribution.

  47. When the Steelers cheat or pay off the officiating: 6* titles

    When they don’t cheat: they get waxed by Tim Tebow in the playoffs… and then get knocked out of the playoffs by the Bengals and the freaking BROWNS…

    Clearly, they need to cheat to win anything.

    Any questions?

  48. How does it feel Steeler fan? How does it feeling knowing YOUR TEAM WINS NOTHING without PED cheating or paying off the officiating?

  49. I’m just really happy the bengals will finally get some respect and be only one behind Pittsburgh in the power rankings.

    Who dey,

  50. Dear Haley, you have the BEST no huddle offense in the NFL and you decide not to use it.
    I could have called this game from my couch….
    first down, run…….second down,run…… third down, pass into the teeth of a blitz for a sack……….BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You wasted what was probably the best effort the Burgers have put up on defense this year.
    I thought Haley was supposed to be an innovator on offense… he looked like he was stuck in the 70’s. I am available next year for O.C. Let’s do lunch!!!!!!
    Granted, we lost to teams that we shouldn’t have, but it still all comes down to play calling………..or LACK OF IT……………………………………………………

  51. First of all to all the guys who know nothing about football this team didnt lose because it was old and slow they lost because the offense played like crap.The defense is the only reason why we were in it the last 2 games.

    Now ravenator i have nothing against the fact that you trash talk our team since it is easier for you to diss your rival than be proud of what your team is doing unless we’re talkin about choking in the playoffs.

    Bengals: they have a solid young team and arguably the best team in the division for years to come but we will be there as well.

    You have to be a steelers fan to understand that it is a trend for us to miss the playoffs 1 year out of 3.We will be better next year and all of the steelers haters should be scared and deep inside they know that a healthy steelers team will go deep.

  52. You can tell how good the Steelers have been – fans of other teams just flooding over to pound on the Steelers. Many many years of pent-up frustration I guess.

  53. Just a follow up to the many comments about the Steelers D being old and slow. Statistically they are one of the best defenses in the league – they have played pretty well down the stretch. Well enough to to win. That’s not the problem really.

  54. Steeler fans are non existent now that theyve been owned. 3rd place in the division, get used to it Pittsburgh

  55. Nofoolnodrool says: Dec 23, 2012 6:24 PM

    Can’t tell who your team is but unless you have three SB appearances in the last ten years you are just talking trash . You have an opinion and nothing more thanks for your in depth contribution.

    The offensive struggles that led to a loss in the Steelers last SB appearance(Ben throwing INTs,Mendy fumbling) are well documented,as are the sequence of events that led to Tebow killing the Steelers last year and their inevitable demise this year. You’re proving my point by calling those undeniable facts just my “opinion”. I know it’s tough to argue against someone armed with facts and not just conjecture and juvenile name calling. A true rarity for this site.

  56. raqaiw says:
    Dec 23, 2012 10:25 PM
    Nofoolnodrool says: Dec 23, 2012 6:24 PM

    Can’t tell who your team is but unless you have three SB appearances in the last ten years you are just talking trash . You have an opinion and nothing more thanks for your in depth contribution.

    The offensive struggles that led to a loss in the Steelers last SB appearance(Ben throwing INTs,Mendy fumbling) are well documented,as are the sequence of events that led to Tebow killing the Steelers last year and their inevitable demise this year. You’re proving my point by calling those undeniable facts just my “opinion”. I know it’s tough to argue against someone armed with facts and not just conjecture and juvenile name calling. A true rarity for this site.

    1 0 it took you four hours for another simplistic opinion to be spewed forth. Your facts are things that happened and in ….your opinion support your argument in other words your conjecturing…pot meet kettle. Still don’t have a team yet or are you just content passing judgement on others?

  57. I’m a Bengals fan but don’t get the “old & slow” comments about the Steelers’ D. They are number 1 in Defense and held our Offense to 6 points.

    The thing I would criticize is their O-Line because their D certainly wasn’t why they lost and why bash Ben who has had to run for his life.

    Geno Atkins for MVP.

    Whodey!

  58. pskotte says:
    Dec 23, 2012 5:44 PM
    Hey joetoronto – still waiting for you to show up (not) you gutless whiner.
    **************************************************
    I’m here at 5:10am and you’re not, how do you explain that? SMH.

    The Bengals won the game, props to them. I thought it was a poorly coached game on both sides of the ball and I thought both QB’s were horrible.

    I thought the Bengals defense played very well.

    I just don’t see what you guys see in Andy Dalton, I realy don’t.

  59. I think the Steelers defense did a good job. They held us to 6 points The other 7 were from a pick 6. However, the Bengals have a great up and coming young defense led by Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap. They are the reason for Pittsburgh “offensive struggles” yesterday. Our front four is so strong that we didn’t even need to blitz much.

  60. Way to go Bengals. That was a win for the ages. That was 2 of the best defenses on display yesterday that the NFL has. What a great game. Hoping that Andy and the Gang can up the performance on the offensive side to equal the D and head toward a championship! I really think this will be a mental step in the right direction for our offense! And there was no better way to get in the playoffs than by beating AND ousting the Steelers! WHO DEY!

  61. ravenator says:
    Dec 24, 2012 8:52 AM
    Steeler fans crying is like sweet Christmas music to my ears. Keep it coming babies.

    9 2 you won’t hear steeler fans crying because the only one allowed to post is you…strange?

  62. The Steelers didn’t play well enough this season to deserve a trip to the playoffs. The overly conservative offense designed to protect Ben from injury just handcuffed him and took away the things that make him successful, and didn’t protect him from being hurt. The “old and slow” defense is still brilliantly coached, but the lack of ability to create turnovers has been distressing the past few years now.

    It is a little early to call for Tomlin’s head, however. An offseason to get healthy, a decent draft and some of the younger players coming on and the Steelers are right back in the thick of it once again. I don’t think that I’m ready to hit the panic button.

  63. tobiasjodter says:
    Dec 23, 2012 7:56 PM
    You can tell how good the Steelers have been – fans of other teams just flooding over to pound on the Steelers. Many many years of pent-up frustration I guess.

    Success in some breeds envy in others.

    Just saying

  64. cbass59:
    Cowher inherited a team that was considered to be completely irrelevant in 1992. His first game of his coaching career ended with a win in Houston as a 10-point underdog en route to that season’s AFC Central Division title.
    He then coached the Steelers to six consecutive playoff berths, including to a Super Bowl in just his fourth season.
    Tomlin’s teams have missed the playoffs twice in his first six seasons.
    The only team that Cowher’s Steelers “should’ve” but didn’t defeat in an AFC title game was San Diego in 1994. His other AFC title-game losses were to John Elway’s Broncos (twice) and Tom Brady’s Patriots (twice).
    Cowher ended his Steelers coaching career with a 161-99-1 record. Get back to me when Tomlin equals Cowher’s career.

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