Give credit where credit is due, Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer coached himself a heck of a ball game Sunday.
Individually, Cincinnati's defenders aren't all that good. In fact, they're largely the same group that has lined up for the Bengals the past few years - with a few notable exceptions.
But people have said that about the Steelers for years as well.
Sometimes scheme can outperform ability.
It did Sunday for Cincinnati.
© Cincinnati's offense didn't do a whole lot again against the Steelers, picking up 218 yards.
That's why it's kind of funny that quarterback Carson Palmer spoke after the game about how they outschemed the Steelers in the run game and in the play-action game.
Hey Carson, you outschemed the Steelers to the tune of 61 rushing yards, 157 passing and four field goals.
No, this day belonged to Zimmer.
© Ben Roethlisberger was off all day long in this one, overthrowing open receivers on a number of occasions.
Many of his throws were high. Again, credit Zimmer for keeping Roethlisberger in the pocket and for some well-timed delayed blitzes that kept Roethlisberger from stepping into his throws.
© The injury to Troy Polamalu is troubling.
Including Sunday's loss in which he played exactly one defensive series, the Steelers have won 13 of of the past 15 games he's started.
They're 2-2 when he doesn't play.
There's no word yet on Polamalu's status, but he pulled himself out of the game, so obviously he felt something wasn't right.
© That's seven consecutive games the Steelers have allowed a return touchdown, including three-straight home games that they've given up a kickoff return touchdown.
The defense has allowed 11 touchdowns all season.
Mike Tomlin joked following the game that he'd put himself out there if he thought it would help the kickoff coverage team.
But a call to Anthony Madison, who's unemployed right now, might be in order.
Keiwan Ratliff was inactive Sunday and rookie Keenan Lewis went down with a rib injury.
Ratliff could be released or Lewis could go on IR to make room for Madison, who was the Steelers' leader in special teams tackles in 2008.
© Chris Kemoeatu was the only Steelers player named to Sports Illustrated's midseason All-Pro team by Peter King.
Sunday, Kemoeatu gave up a pair of sacks to somebody named Johnathan Fanene. He also was penalized once for holding Fanene.
I'm pretty sure Fanene was not on King's All-Pro team.
© I'm sure Steelers fans are hitting the panic button right now after being swept by the Bengals.
But really, the Steelers still control their own destiny.
Sunday's loss will likely cost the Steelers any chance of a bye in the playoffs and could mean they might have to settle for a wildcard spot, but outside of Indianapolis and New England, who in the AFC playoff picture scares anyone?
Don't think for a second the Steelers wouldn't welcome a third game with Cincinnati.