Bengals-Steelers: Halftime notes

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers lead the Cincinnati Bengals, 10-7, at intermission.

Here are some halftime observations:

  • Pittsburgh went away from the running game really quickly. After three first-quarter possessions that resulted into zero points, the Steelers started throwing on first down often and going with empty backfields. It's apparent through the first half that Pittsburgh is still struggling to find out where its offensive strengths are. The Steelers have just 25 rushing yards on 14 carries in the first half.

  • The Bengals are showing they have nothing to lose by bringing a lot more pressures than they did in their first meeting against the Steelers. In the October meeting, Cincinnati played conservative defensively in an effort to try to avoid the big play. Thursday, the Bengals are blitzing early and often.

  • Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes had his best first half in recent memory. He caught three passes for 59 yards as the Bengals are electing to single-cover Holmes. His longest reception came on a 27-yard reception that set up a 37-yard field goal by Pittsburgh kicker Jeff Reed.

  • The replacements for Chad Ocho Cinco are playing well in the first half. Glenn Holt started and caught a nice skinny post in the first quarter for a 10-yard touchdown. Chris Henry has been the third receiver and caught two balls for 25 yards.