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Postgame quick hits: Ndukwe injury 'doesn't look good'


PITTSBURGH - Notes and quotes on a quick hit from the Bengals 23-7 loss to the Steelers Sunday at Heinz Field:

» Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis on the knee injury suffered by safety Chinedum Ndukwe: "It doesn't look good." Ndukwe, who was seen on crutches after the game, looks to have a possible season-ending injury. He would become the seventh DB to go on IR.

» For the third time in four games the Bengals were blanked in the second half.

» Sunday was left tackle Andrew Whitworth's 29th birthday. He becomes the fourth Bengals offensive lineman to score a touchdown, joining Melvin Tuten, Glenn Bujnoch and Anthony Muñoz.

"First time I've scored a touchdown since high school," Whitworth said. "I played tight end. I'll take it as a birthday present."

» Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer on the game:"Completely my fault. I feel terrible. The defense played great against a good offense. I take this loss on my shoulders. We can't come in here and turn the ball over."

Palmer said he has to take a look at the first interception return by safety Troy Polamalu. "I'm not sure what happened with our guys on that one," he said.

But he knew what happened on the other two. He said he never saw linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who returned Palmer's second pick 14 yards for the score. "It was a hard play-action fake," Palmer said. "I never saw him at all. I lost my vision behind the offensive line. Obviously that's one I wish I had back."

And on the third interception he said it was "a dumb play by me. I was just trying to get seven points on the board as quickly as possible. I should have thrown it out of the end zone."

Palmer became the first quarterback with five pick-sixes in a season since A.J. Feeley in 2004.

» The 190 yards of total offense by the Bengals were the second fewest of the season next to the 163 against the Jets on November 25.

» Last month Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens had the biggest receiving game against the Steelers in three years when he had 141 yards on 10 receptions. Sunday he had just one catch for 22 yards.

"They did a great job game-planning," Owens said. "They saw me line up in certain formations and go across the field and Polamalu was doing a great job coming downhill on the routes. They did a great job of game-planning and we had no answer for it."

On Polamalu's 45-yard return, Palmer tried to hit Owens on a post but Polamalu cut in front of him.

"He played a little shallow. I think he knew I was coming in, right when I planted, there was not a lot I could do about it," Owens said.

Owens had his catch for 22 yards on the Bengals' first drive.

"I just feel like I was out there running," he said. "Early in the game I got some looks. After that it was no adjustments."

» Cedric Benson had eight carries for 19 yards, which represent season lows in both attempts and yards.

Asked if he was surprised, Benson said, "Yeah. I figure every game, that's how you win, especially late in the year."

» Sunday was the first time this season the Bengals defense did not allow a touchdown. It was also the second straight year the Steelers did not score an offensive touchdown against the Bengals in Pittsburgh.

"At some point in the season you say 'enough is enough," defensive tackle Domata Peko said. "Enough mistakes, enough BSing. That was one of those days. We all got after it. We were all on the same page. We all played hard as hell. That was a good feeling, though we didn't get the 'W,' and that's what we wanted."

» The Bengals registered a season-high four sacks from four different players, linebacker Dhani Jones, defensive tackle Pat Sims, Ndukwe and defensive end Michael Johnson.

» Tight end Jermaine Gresham had no catches andplayed sparingly after missing the week of practice following the death of his grandmother. Also, on the offensive line Nate Livings and Evan Mathis rotated at left guard.

» Rookie left end Carlos Dunlap, who cameinto the game with 4.5 sacks in his last four games, didn't have any Sunday but he was still busy. He looked to play more on first and second down and tipped three passes as well as had three tackles. 

» The Steelers weren't happy with Bengals linebackerBrandon Johnson on the last play of the game, when he got into it with several Steelers. An unnamed Steeler said he told several Bengals to take it easy on the last play of the game, a Pittsburgh punt, because they were frustrated. But they claimed Johnson took a cheap shot on safety Ryan Mundy.

"That's why they're losers," said Steelers linebacker James Farrior, a quote that will no doubt get recycled next season.

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