The Bengals have lost eight of the last nine (including postseason) to the Steelers. In 21 meetings during the Andy Dalton-A.J. Green era, the Bengals haven’t exceeded 21 points.
But Pittsburgh doesn’t have their number, according to the players.
“I’m a man,” defensive end Carlos Dunlap said. “I’m not going to let another man have my number. They managed the game well and did the things they had to do and we didn’t. Simple as that.”
“You hate to lose, that’s what gets in your head, it’s not them,” cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said. “When you lose that’s where the frustration is. I’m embracing that we lost today. ... Fear yourself. Be accountable.”
The Bengals played the Steelers to a 14-14 draw before wilting in a 29-14 loss. The team’s offense fell apart about midway through the second quarter. The second half was just as bad, with A.J. Green and Joe Mixon forgotten men.
For the Bengals to save the season, they’re going to need a lot of external help. But nothing will matter if they can’t solve their issues on the offensive side of the ball.