A dangerous multidimensional threat the likes of which Cincinnati hasn't seen in the backfield since James Brooks' halcyon days in the 1980s, Bernard was responsible for both of the Bengals' touchdowns. Eifert set the table for the first of those scores with a 61-yard catch-and-run, the game's longest play.
In the "Around The League Podcast" Week 2 Preview, we pointed out that the Bengals' offense was overly reliant on wide receiver A.J. Green in its season-opening loss to the same extent as last year's unit that regressed down the stretch. It's a promising sign that the cavalry has arrived in the form of Bernard and Eifert.
If the roles of those two rookies continue to increase, the Bengals could run away with the AFC North this season.
Here's what else we learned from Monday night's game:
- Steelers receivers Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders struggled to get open for the second consecutive game while Brian Hartline and Charles Clay are piling up numbers in Miami. It's the Mike Wallace effect. The NFL is all about double teams, and Wallace draws them. It would behoove Pittsburgh to move Sanders to the slot, with rookie Markus Wheaton playing opposite Brown.
- The returns of tight end Heath Miller and rookie running back Le'Veon Bell from injuries might help the Steelers match Bernard and Eifert the next time these teams meet in Week 15. Coach Mike Tomlin told ESPN's "Monday Night Football" crew that Miller has a "chance" to return from his knee injury in Week 3 against the Chicago Bears.
- The Steelers have lost seven of their last nine games, going back to last season. As Bill Parcells would say, "You are what your record says you are." Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith rushed for 57 yards Sunday -- a higher total than any Pittsburgh running back has posted in more than 10 calendar months.