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Live from Heinz Field -- Nov. 15

November 15, 2009 - Buck Frank

Final: Bengals 18, Steelers 12

Despite Ben Roethlisberger's bad day, the Steelers had the ball, 67 yards away from a winning touchdown, with nearly 2 minutes remaining.

Incompletion, incompletion, incompletion, incompletion.

If this game would have been against the Vikings a few weeks ago it wouldn't have been as devastating to the Steelers. The fact that it came in a game that will have significant implications on the Steelers' chances of winning the division makes it tough to swallow for Steeler fans.

But the Bengals have been a better team than the Steelers up to this point and deserved to win the game. A lot can change over the next seven weeks -- the Raiders could beat the Bengals next week. OK, maybe not.

Steelers fans should remember Bill Cowher's line, though. You're never as good as they say you are after a win (beating the Broncos), and you're never as bad as they say you are after a loss (Sunday).

NFL seasons are roller coasters. If you're on the ride with the Steelers, it's hard to see today that they still are one of the best teams in the NFL. 

Start of fourth quarter

Steelers trail, 12-9, after Cincy kicked two field goals in the third quarter. The Steelers, however, are threatening to score.


The Steelers lead the Bengals, 9-6, on three Jeff Reed field goals. A 46-yard pass interference penalty against the Bengals set the Steelers up for the go-ahead kick in the final seconds of the first half.

The steelers have had chances to score touchdowns but have come up short. Santonio Holmes couldn't duplicate his Super Bowl catch.

8:05 left in the first half

The Steelers' defense has been playing well, despite the loss of Troy Polamalu to a left knee injury. That's the same knee that's been bothering him all season and will probably bother him the rest of the year.

A Bernard Scott 96-yard kickoff return (that's three in four games against the Steelers) has given the Bengals a 6-3 lead. The Steelers currently have good field position after a nice return by Stefan Logan.


45 minutes until kickoff:

No surprises on the inactive lists. Carey Davis and Travis Kirschke were not expected to play due to injuries. Tony Hills and Kraig Urbik, as usual, are on the list. Shaun McDonald is inactive, which means Limas Sweed will get a chance to drop, er, play today. Others inactive are Sunny Harris and Keiwan Ratliff.

The Bengals are without linebacker Keith Rivers and guard Evan Mathis after putting safety Roy Williams and receiver Chris Henry on injured reserve earlier this week. Ex-Steeler Orien Harris is also among the inactive Bengals.

Another beautiful day for football. Trying to figure out if the weather is better today than for the Vikings game, which was also tremendous.

It's 1 1/2 hours until kickoff. The special teams guys are out stretching.

Mean Joe Greene is going to be presented the Clio Award, the highest award in advertising, in honor of the 30th anniversary of his famous Coca-Cola commercial. There will be a ceremony before the game.

Had a chance to meet up with Altoona native Tim Frank before the game. He's in Pittsburgh to catch the Notre-Pitt, Steelers-Bengals doubleheader. Tim is a Notre Dame graduate and is now a top public relations guy for the NBA. Although I am asked a lot how we're related, we're not.

It should be a great game today. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are here to do the game for CBS. If the Bengals win, they will have swept the season series from both the Ravens and Steelers. That should give the Steelers extra motivation to make sure they get the job done today.

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