What it means: One look around the stadium during the fourth quarter at the two-minute warning, and you would have thought this was the end of a blowout inside Heinz Field. Bengals fans were difficult to spot, as the 65,512-person crowd had mostly vacated the premises. The only ones who seemed to stick around were Steelers fans, spotted by their twirling gold towels. It's the second straight game the visiting team's fans had more to celebrate than the Bengals'. Cincinnati has completely lost its dominant swagger at home. After going 13-0-1 in a 14-game home stretch, the Bengals now have lost their last two to AFC North rivals by a combined 42 points. Still at 8-4-1, they lead the division. This loss makes the next three weeks that much more important.
Stock watch: We might as well just go on and rename the "Stock watch" portion of Rapid Reaction from here on the "Andy Dalton index." Like we mentioned in last week's Rapid Reaction, tracking Dalton's week-by-week play is a lot like watching the stock market. One game he's hot, the next, not. After a distressing first half at Tampa Bay seven days ago, Dalton was clean against Pittsburgh until a pivotal fourth-quarter fumble. Still, it was the first time in three weeks that he didn't throw an interception. Otherwise, Dalton trended upwardly when he completed 21 of his 29 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns.
Game ball: No Bengal deserved this honor more than A.J. Green. For the second time in three weeks, he set a career mark. This time, it was his single-game yards receiving record that was toppled. He had 11 catches for 224 yards and a touchdown. The bulk of Green's yards came on two plays, a 56-yard reception and an 81-yard third-quarter touchdown catch. His previous career high in yards was 183, set against Washington in Week 3 of the 2012 season. Green's 224 was 36 yards shy of Chad Johnson's franchise-record 260 that came in a game in November 2006. As was previously mentioned, this isn't the only record Green has set of late. Three weeks ago, he had a career-high 12 receptions in a win at Houston.
Loss mars Vincent Rey's day: Bengals linebacker Vincent Rey also arguably had the game of his career. The fifth-year player was seemingly everywhere in a career-high 15-tackle performance that, obviously, would have been all the better had it been in a winning effort. Instead, the loss marred what was a rather strong day for him. From the opening drive, Rey was key in getting stops against the run and was often the first player to reach running backs coming out of the backfield for screens. He deflected one pass and had good, hard tackles on several of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's check-down throws. Rey was getting yet another start at weakside linebacker for Vontaze Burfict, who missed his sixth straight game due to a knee injury.
What's next? The final stretch of the Bengals' season continues next Sunday when they hit the road for a short trip north to Cleveland. It'll be the Bengals' first time playing the Browns since their epic 24-3 Thursday night collapse to them last month. The Bengals lead the series 43-39, but have lost the last two meetings at First Energy Stadium dating back to 2012.