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Tim Benz: Feats of strength from Steelers’ victory over Bengals |
Breakfast With Benz

Tim Benz: Feats of strength from Steelers’ victory over Bengals

Tim Benz
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald (89) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Preston Brown (52) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)

People seem to like our “airing of grievances” after every Steelers game — win or lose — so much that we are now getting requests to expand them.

That’s a tremendous idea. After every win, I think it’s only right to balance our grievances with “feats of strength.”

After some of the things we saw during the Steelers’ 28-21 victory Sunday in Cincinnati, what better week to start?

So now as the Steelers season rolls on, we come to the feats of strength.

McDonald mashes Burfict

You want feats of strength? How about what Vance McDonald did?

Not only did the Steelers tight end barrel through hated villain Vontaze Burfict, but he also plowed through four more Bengals. He dented the Cincy defense, and he dented Burfict’s pride as the linebacker checked out of the game for a few plays after that.

It wasn’t as good as what McDonald did to Chris Conte earlier in the season …

… but it was pretty good.

James Conner

Steelers running back James Conner got in on the fun of making Burfict look bad.

So he earned a nod for that act alone. But his “bowling-ball” approach to the game overall is what gets him nominated. Conner ran over and through Bengals all day to the tune of 129 total yards from scrimmage.

The offensive line

The offensive line was strong all afternoon. It paved the way for Conner’s stellar performance.

Then again, that always seems to happen in Cincinnati, right? The Steelers always rack up yards on the ground in Paul Brown Stadium.

What is really impressive, though, is how well the offensive line did in the pass game. Ben Roethlisberger attempted 46 passes. He wasn’t sacked at all and he was hit only one time. The Bengals have only 13 sacks — 20th in league — but that is still impressive.

Justin Hunter

Hunter’s block on Antonio Brown’s game-winning touchdown was crucial to the play.

OK. It was probably a penalty. After all, here is the direct definition of offensive pass interference in the case of what Hunter did.

“It is also pass interference by the offense to block a defender beyond the line while the pass is in the air, if the block occurs in the vicinity of the player to whom the pass is thrown.”

That’s exactly what Hunter did.

Many people are focusing on this other part of the definition, saying that Hunter was blocking at the line of scrimmage before the pass was released: “Blocking more than one yard beyond the line of scrimmage by an offensive player prior to a pass being thrown is offensive pass interference.”

Here’s the problem, he was at the 29-yard line. The line of scrimmage was the 31. That’s 2 yards.

Regardless of that, it was a really strong block on Tony McRae and Hunter did the job he was supposed to do — legal or not.

And that helped win the game.

Ryan Shazier

What else can we say? You want strength? Take a look at the strides Ryan Shazier has made to walk back onto the same field where he was severely hurt last year.

“Let’s ride on three!”

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