SI Vault
 
Solid Stripes
TIM LAYDEN
November 23, 2009
In beating the Steelers—again—the Bengals showed that their defense is just as dangerous as their offense
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
November 23, 2009

Solid Stripes

In beating the Steelers—again—the Bengals showed that their defense is just as dangerous as their offense

View CoverRead All Articles
1 2

"Every win, this team gets a little more mature," says Johnson, who, like Henry, has had numerous embarrassing off-field incidents. "A lot of the older guys on this team have been taking the younger guys aside and telling them, 'You've got to embrace this opportunity.' I know with all the hardship I've had, I tell guys, 'Keep working. This could all be gone in an instant.'"

History shows that it would be foolish to dismiss the Steelers' chances. But the loss of strong safety Troy Polamalu after just one series, with further problems in his left knee, will make things that much tougher for Pittsburgh. "A month off would be great," Polamalu told SI in early November. "But that's not realistic during the season."

It might be all too realistic now, and it could be further evidence of a significant power shift in the AFC North.

Now on SI.com

Get ready for kickoff with Peter King's picks and his Friday Game Plan at SI.com/bonus

1 2