By Matt Popchock

CINCINNATI (93-7 THE FAN) — The Steelers, once again, looked flat in a 20-10 loss at Cincinnati Monday night, though not for a lack of preparation, nor for a lack of coaching, according to safety Ryan Clark.

“It’s a lack of getting on the field and doing your job,” Clark told Zac Jackson of Fox Sports Ohio. “If we don’t fix things, if we don’t stop the run, we won’t win a game.”

Rookie Giovani Bernard lowered the curtain on the Steel Curtain with a seven-yard score late in the first quarter to give the 1-1 Bengals a lead they never surrendered. He would add another touchdown on a 27-yard catch-and-run from Andy Dalton with six minutes left in the third quarter that proved to be the game-winner.

Bernard finished with 38 of the team’s 127 rushing yards, while the Steelers were held to 44–marking just the fourth time in over 30 years they were held to under 60 against Cincinnati. The Bengals picked eight first downs via rushing to the Steelers’ two.

But did Clark over-react?

The Steelers have not started 0-2 since 2002, and Bill Cowher was still able to guide that team to the playoffs. Still, many teams that start that poorly tend not to qualify, and, historically, an 0-3 start is an even more certain kiss of death.

“Maybe it was an overstatement, but it’s the right mentality to have,” said head coach Mike Tomlin in his weekly press conference today.

Click here to read the full report by Jackson.

With 75 collective yards in two games, the Steelers’ running game is off to its worst start in franchise history. They have not had a 100-yard rusher in eight straight games, which hasn’t happened since 1935.

“It doesn’t look like Steeler football out there,” running back Isaac Redman said after sustaining a head injury early in the game, and managing all of four yards on three attempts. “No explanation [for the running game]. There are really no excuses from me. We need to figure it out, and we need to figure it out fast.”

The Steelers host the 2-0 Chicago Bears Sunday night, with kickoff set for just after 8:30.


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