The look on Bengals QB Andy Dalton's face tells the story following Cincinnati's 24-17 loss to Pittsburgh. (US Presswire)

The Bengals head into the bye week on a three-game losing streak and watching hopes of postseason play and an AFC North title fading further off the horizon following their 24-17 loss at home against Pittsburgh.  

Offense: D

The only reason the team didn't get an F failing grade was the first drive of the game – 15 plays, 80 yards, dominant running game, sprinkled in with a decent passing game. From that point forward, though, they ran 34 plays for 105 yards. They couldn't find a way to break A.J. Green free – he was only targeted six times and had one reception. That can never happen. No play gained more than 17 yards. The Steelers forced anybody but Green to beat them, and the collection of unknown second receivers couldn't. The team's major offensive weakness was exposed on the national stage. Previous game's grade: D+

Defense: C

DT Geno Atkins has now notched seven sacks in seven games. Those are absurd numbers for an interior lineman and his play alone resulted in 10 points swinging toward the Bengals. Yet, a Pittsburgh team with two backup offensive linemen and a third-string running back piled up 167 yards on the ground, unacceptable for this group. They finally created turnovers including a Chris Crocker interception in the end zone, but allowing the Steelers to run all over them defines their effort. Previous game's grade: C+

Special teams: B

The Bengals were saved by Steelers penalties on kick returns. Over and over again, Pittsburgh broke long returns but rarely did they stand. Only a 41-yard return by Chris Rainey made a significant impact. Meanwhile, the Bengals benefited from multiple strong returns by Brandon Tate. Of course, the offense couldn't do much with them. Previous game's grade: C-

Coaching: F

Marvin Lewis' challenges Sunday night toed the line between ineffective and embarrassing. They didn't cost the Bengals the game in the least, but showed a dramatic gap in the decision-making between the booth and Lewis' right hand. The bottom line was the offense was unable to find creative ways to combat Dick LeBeau's strategy of stopping A.J. Green and the Steelers played like a team who wanted the win more. Failure all around for the coaching staff. Previous game's grade: D

Follow Paul Dehner Jr. for Bengals updates on Twitter at @CBSBengals.