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Bengals-Steelers halftime notes

PITTSBURGH—The Steelers lead the Cincinnati Bengals, 9-6, at halftime of Sunday’s game.

Here are some first-half observations:

  • This has been an odd first half, particularly on special teams. Not only did Bengals rookie Bernard Scott get a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, but Cincinnati also missed an extra point and a field goal attempt. There hasn’t been any kind of flow to the game from either team. Both defenses have played well.

  • Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer looks a little wild today. He’s missed at least three or four open receivers in the first half, and most of those throws have been high. It doesn’t appear the wind is swirling much in Heinz Field Sunday, but several balls are just sailing on Palmer.

  • I’m still not sure at what point Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu re-injured his left knee. It had to take place during the first drive, because a long period followed when Pittsburgh’s offense went on its first scoring drive, then the Bengals had their kickoff return for a score. Now the question becomes how serious is the injury?

  • This is a physical game as players on both sides are getting beat up. For the Bengals, tailback Cedric Benson banged up his hip in the second quarter and cornerback Leon Hall was in and out during the first half. For Pittsburgh, rookie Keenan Lewis hurt his rib in addition to Polamalu.