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An Alarmed Cam Heyward Calls Steelers Defensive Performance ‘Mind Boggling’ In Week 11 Loss

Jordan Schofield / SteelerNation (Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO)

An Alarmed Cam Heyward Calls Steelers Defensive Performance ‘Mind Boggling’ In Week 11 Loss

The Pittsburgh Steelers defenses have seemingly always struggled with running backs out of the backfield. That was clear in Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, as their backup running back, Samaje Perine, ended up with three receiving touchdowns. The defense struggled as a whole, giving up 37 points and 408 total yards to their AFC North rival.

Bengals RB Samaje Perine against Steelers

Cincinnati Bengals backup running back, Samaje Perine, caught three touchdowns against the Steelers in the Week 11, 37-30 win. Credit: Associated Press

After the game, star defensive lineman, Cam Heyward reflected on the unit’s poor performance as a whole. He discussed what went wrong, and what was most frustrating from the 37 points that they gave up.

“I think we didn’t make them settle for field goals enough. We didn’t stay glued to our guys. Three touchdowns to the running back, [it’s] mind-boggling. We didn’t hit home enough.”

The Bengals running backs had a good day through the air, and it wasn’t just Mixon. Perine finished with four catches for 52 yards and three TD’s, but starter Joe Mixon also had three catches for 42 yards. In total, those two combined for seven catches, 94 yards, and three TD’s. Things won’t get much easier these next few weeks, as the defense will face some talented running backs from the Indianapolis Colts and Atlanta Falcons.

Steelers LB Robert Spillane

Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker, Robert Spillane (#41) during a 2022 regular season game at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA. Credit: Jordan Schofield/SteelerNation (@JSKO_PHOTO, Twitter)

The Steelers defense made Perine look like Alvin Kamara en route to Sunday’s loss. Robert Spillane, in particular, had a bad missed tackle on one of the touchdowns. Spillane had a phenomenal game in Week 10 against the New Orleans Saints, but that wasn’t replicated in Week 11. The defense has been picking things up as of late, so it was disappointing to see them take a step back.


What was the most disappointing aspect of Sunday’s loss to the Bengals? Who do you blame for Perine’s three touchdowns? Should Spillane be seeing the field less despite his good performance last weekend? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, as well as on our social media sites!




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Credit to my dad, I have been a lifelong Steelers fan. I have fond memories of watching the Steelers win two Super Bowls when I was a little kid. I have only been to 1 Steelers game in my life, which was in Kansas City. That was the notorious game where Antonio Brown pinned it against his chest down the sidelines for a touchdown. I hope to get to Heinz Field some day! I graduated from Iowa State University and look forward to growing as a writer with #SteelerNation!



  1. Joey Walsh

    November 22, 2022 at 12:29 am

    Gotta disagree a bit with you. I think Spillane made a good play last week I wouldn’t say he played a good game. He’s terrible in coverage and I’m still not sure why he is on the field so much.

  2. Scott

    November 22, 2022 at 4:34 pm

    Spillane is not the problem. We’re a poor tackling team en masse and have been for many years under Tomlin.
    Mincah is the only good player of the back 4.
    It starts right there.
    The Steelers need to be in zone much more and allow the rush to get after the QB.

    QB’s can’t help themselves with zone and will want the big play. Big plays take time. Our rush will get there more than not.

    There are some that will say a good QB will pick apart a zone. That’s true if the pass rush is nonexistent. Our rush is very good and I’ll take my chances making the opposing QB go 14 plays or more to get a score rather than 6 or 7.
    I like our chances if our rush can get after it that many times. Turnovers, tipped balls, etc.
    Plus the more plays they run the more chance for mistakes on their part. Law of averages my friend.

    Man for man is fine if you’ve got a great back 4. We don’t. What we do have is a great pass rush so we need to focus on that rather than man for man exposing our back 4

  3. Joann M Grabusky

    November 22, 2022 at 5:59 pm

    Hi my name is joann I’ve been a Steelers fan for many years its plain and simple them has to get together they can’t keep going up and down consistent is the operative word they r a great team they need to win all seven games if they even have a chance

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