The game hasn’t even gotten started yet and Vince Williams has already found Vontaze Burfict, for a pregame shoving match. The Steelers look pretty fired up, and they have won the toss and will start at the twenty. Steelers are using the muddle huddle. Steelers got 9 yards on their first two plays, and the second play ends up with Antonio Brown and Dre Kirkpatrick end up swinging at each other. Ben hits Wheaton for 31 yards down the left sideline, to the Bengals 40. Burfict is chirping at the Steelers sideline. Ben converts the 3rd and 8 to Heath Miller, to the Bengals 27. 3rd and 3 on the Bengals 20, and Ben hits Antonio Brown who takes it to the one. Deangelo Williams takes it in for the touchdown on 2nd and 1. Boswell nails the extra point, giving the Steelers an early 7-0 lead after their first offensive possession.
As the Steelers get ready to take over on defense, they need to harness their anger and use controlled aggression. The Bengals return the kick out to the 37, but an illegal block in the back brings it back to at least the 25. Bengals start their first drive at their own 10. The Refs hit Mike Mitchell with a rather bogus unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Antwon Blake provides solid coverage as Dalton takes a shot at the endzone. Hill immediately gets tripped up at the line. It’s 3rd and 10 for the Bengals as Dalton hooks up with Eifert for a 23 yard catch and run to the Steelers 7. Tuitt intercepts Dalton’s shuffle pass in the backfield on a very athletic reaction. He was not fooled on the play action one bit. The defense comes up with an early turnover to stop a Bengals drive that was looking to answer the Steelers touchdown.
Dalton is heading to the locker room as the Steelers take over the ball. Williams gets 4 and now it’s 3rd and 2. Andy Dalton is questionable to return, as the Steelers have burned their second timeout. The Steelers need to convert this short third down. It would be disappointing to give it right back to the Bengals. The Steelers convert on a nice grab, followed by an eight yard Williams run, 2nd and 2. Ben hits Brown out to the 47 for another first down. The Steelers are on the move as Ben is finding his rhythm early, as he hits Brown on an inside dig route down to the 40. Cincinnati now burns their first time out, as they try to interrupt the Steelers momentum. Andy Dalton is officially out of the game. Ben hits Miller for a 5 yard gain to end the first quarter.
The second quarter begins with the Steelers on the Bengals 35. Steelers face 3rd and 5. Ben runs to the Bengals 26 for the Steelers first down. Fitzgerald Toussaint gets his first carry and picks up a couple, but there is a flag down. Brown gets hit with a 15 yard illegal Crack back block. It’s 1st and 25 outside of the 40 now. Burfict is out of the game for the moment. Tyler Eiffert heading to the locker room for concussion protocol. 3rd and 19 now. Ben hits Bryant for 11 leading to a Boswell 42 yard field goal to give the Steelers a 10-0 lead.
As the Bengals offense takes over, AJ McCarron takes over at quarterback for the Bengals. Let’s see if Butler goes after him early to see if they can rattle him. Boswell kicks off to Brandon Tate who gets out to about the 20 yard line. McCarron hits his first pass to AJ Green for about 6, and a flag is down. Blake hit with a personal foul. There is another flag as McCarron misses deep. Will Allen called for pass interference. Bengals have the ball on the Steelers 36. Jeremy Hill gets nothing on first down. Steelers have been hit with 4 penalties for 67 yards. 3rd and 10 for the Bengals. Tyler Eifert doubtful to return with potential concussion, Burfict is probable with a neck injury. Mike Nugent comes up short on 54 yard field goal attempt.
Steelers get the ball back with a 10-0 lead, and a need to put more points on the board. They are doing a good job on defense, except for the penalties. The Steelers need to control their emotions on defense.
Ben hits Antonio Brown right away for 11 and a first down. Brown’s catch only got 9, but Williams gets the yard and a new set of downs. Ben rolls out and hits Wheaton for 4, 2nd and 6. Williams shoots up the middle down to the Steelers 25. The Steelers look to have that rhythm going on offense. 3rd and 8 for the Steelers. Ben goes down at the 30 by Michael Johnson after missing Bryant in the endzone. Boswell hits the 47 yard field goal to extend the Steelers lead to 13-0.
Credit that 3rd down sack of Ben Roethlisberger to good coverage by the Bengals.
Boswell knocks the kickoff out of the endzone, so the Bengals take over on the 20. Giovanni Bernard bulls his way for 15 yards and a first down at the 35. Immediately, McCarron hits AJ Green with a 66 yard touchdown catch. On the play, Mike Mitchell and Antwon Blake, who was burned on the play, missed tackles. After the Nugent extra point the Steelers lead is cut to 13-7.
Steelers start at the 20 after the Wheaton touchback. Williams gets 3 on first down. Third and 8 for the Steelers as Williams loses a yard. Ben hits Miller for 16 and the first down. 2nd and 10 as Ben misses Bryant wide. Two more players are down as the take a television time out. The Steelers should really consider going to the no-huddle to reestablish their offensive rhythm. Alejandro Villenueva is being looked at for possible concussion. Ben hits Miller for 9 for 3rd and 1. Ben is 15/18 for 155 yards, and he hits Miller for the first down. On first down, Ben hits Bryant for 6, down to the Bengals 46. It’s 3rd and 4 after an incompletion to Antonio Brown. Steelers to punt after Ben misses Brown at the 26. Bey does a great job of downing the punt inside the 3 yard line.
McCarron hits a quick pass outside to AJ Green for 4, so now it’s 2nd and 6, with 2:02 left in the first half. The Bengals have two timeouts left, the Steelers have one. Jeremy Hill gets 2 on second down, 3rd and 4. The Steelers take their final timeout of the half. Steelers get the ball back with about 1:10 left.
Steelers have enough time to do something, and may try to go deep here. Ben throws incomplete behind Wheaton, 2nd and 10. Ben to Wheaton down to the 36 for the first down. 52 seconds left. Ben to Miller for another 9. 3rd and 1 now. AB should have gotten the first with forward progress. 4th and 2 with 27 seconds left. Steelers going for it on 4th, but the whistle stopped play and they announce that the previous play is under review to see if the Steelers got the first. He should be given the first on forward progress. Another bad call by the refs. Boswell attempting and nails the 45 yard field goal. Pittsburgh leads 16-7 with 22 seconds left in the half.
In the first half, Ben Roethlisberger is 20/27 for 190 yards, hitting Antonio Brown with 5 of those passes for 60 yards. On the ground, Deangelo Williams has 15 carries for 57 yards. The defense has played pretty well overall. They need to keep their emotions in check, and they need to make sure they wrap up on their tackles, as the touchdown they surrendered to AJ Green was a direct result of a missed tackle. After that long catch and run, the refs missed on calling a penalty on Green for punting the ball into the stands.
The Bengals will start on the 20 after Boswell kicked it out of the endzone. McCarron hits Hill for 5 on first down. 2nd and 5. Pick 6 by Willie Gay, the 6th in his career, tying him with Rod Woodson for the franchise lead. The Steelers have jumped out to a 22-7 lead. Gay is hit with an excessive celebration penalty. Boswell hits the extra point for the 23-7 lead. That is the kind of defensive play the Steelers needed. Gay did a great job of baiting the inexperienced McCarron into thinking his receiver was open.
The Bengals have just crossed midfield, on 3rd and 9, to convert the first down. Will Allen blitzes on first down, and nails McCarron back at the 46. Allen and McClendon collide and both are down. 2nd and 18. McCarron hits AJ Green on a deep dig route for 24 and a first down. Bernard gets 3 on first down. McCullers is in for McClendon. Will Allen getting his neck worked on now. 3rd and 2 for the Bengals and McCarron missed Green, who was all by himself. Nugent hits a 47 yard field goal to cut the Steelers lead to 23-10. Looks like Will Allen and Steve McClendon will be ok, as both are up and moving around. Bud Dupree is questionable to return with a bruised tailbone.
Steelers start their first second half drive on the 21. Ben hits Williams for 9, 2nd and 1. Burfict slow to get up and officials are making him leave the field. Could have further aggravated his neck. Williams loses 1 on 2nd down, 3rd and 2. Ben goes down on a sack by Carlos Dunlap. Steelers will punt. Berry’s punt goes out of bounds at the Bengals 27.
The defense is going to have to tighten up until the offense gets going again. Will Allen returns. Bernard gets little on first down, 2nd and 9. Shazier almost picks off that 2nd down pass, 3rd and 9 for the Bengals. McCarron’s deep ball to Marvin Jones is way out of bounds.
Antonio Brown loses 6 on the punt return. Steelers take over on offense at their own 21. Ben completes a pass to Wheaton out to the 40. 1st down and 10. Swing pass to Bryant loses a yard, 2nd and 11. Williams gets 3 on 2nd down, 3rd and 9. Ben hits Brown on the catch and run, for 26 yards, down to the Bengals 34. That’s what Brown can do for you. Somehow Ben gets the ball to Heath Miller for a 3 yard gain instead of a 5 yard loss. 3rd and 7. Burfict leaves the field again. Ben to Brown for the first, a one arm catch with Kirkpatrick interfering. Cincinnati challenges that Brown got both feet in. Question is, if catch is overturned, can Pittsburgh still take the penalty. The penalty is still enforced since it was prior to the pass. Steelers are in field goal range. Ben to Heath, on first down, for 3. 3rd and 7 from the Bengals 23. Ben to Heath to the Cincinnati 14, for the first down. That was Miller’s 10th catch. Ben misses Wheaton at the goal line, 3rd and 10. Ben to Brown for a yard to leave the Steelers with a 4th and 9. The third quarter has come to an end, with the Steelers looking at a 31 yard field goal. Boswell hits the field goal to increase the Steelers lead to 16. 26-10 Steelers to start the 4th quarter.
Boswell forces another touchback, as the Bengals will start at the 20. McCarron forced out of the pocket and throws it away, 2nd and 10. McCarron to Marvin Jones for the first down. McCarron dives out to the 47, 2nd and 6. Bengals cross midfield, but it’s 3rd and 2. Giovanni Bernard runs for 18, down to the 30. First down. McCarron hits Sanu down at the 7, 2nd and goal. It’s four down territory for the Bengals. McCarron gets sacked by Heyward. On 4th down, Nugent hits a short field goal, instead of going for it. 26-13 Steelers.
Not sure why the Bengals settled for 3 when they need touchdowns. If the Steelers can take this next drive to the endzone, they can pretty much wrap this one up.
Steelers will start this drive from their 20. Ben hits Wheaton for 14 between 2 defenders for the first down. Ben hits Bryant for another 9, 2nd and 1. Deangelo Williams gets 5 and another first down. Steelers are now on the 45 yard line. Ben hits Bryant for 6, crossing midfield. Ben is picked off by Reggie Nelson down at the 2 yard line as he underthrew Martavis Bryant.
So far on this Bengals drive, the Steelers seem satisfied to give up small chunks of yards. McCarron hits a big play down the middle to his Green, but it’s coming back on a hold call by Whitworth. 1st and 20. Robert Golden picks of McCarron’s pass to Sanu and returns it to the Bengals 18. It is the Steelers third interception on the day, the second thrown by McCarron.
Steelers take over now, deep in Bengals territory. Williams carries it down to the 10. 1st and goal for the Steelers. There are flags along with some extra curricular activities. Burfict called for unsportsmanlike conduct. Ball goes half the distance to the goal. Williams gets to the one. 2nd and goal. Mike Tomlin calls timeout, they have two remaining. Deangelo Williams gets in for the touchdown, extending the lead to 32-13. Boswell’s extra point makes it 33-13, the fifth straight game the Steelers have scored 30+ points.
With 3:48 left in the game, the Bengals fans are quickly clearing out. The Bengals get 8 yards on first down, out to the 28. 2nd and 2. First down out to the 38. 2nd and 2 after an 8 yard completion to Bernard. Cincinnati uses their first time out of the 2nd half, after getting another first down crossing midfield. McCarron to Hewitt for 9 on first down. McCarron to Green for 7 and another first down at the Steelers 35. McCarron gets sacked for a 6 yard loss, back to the 41, 2nd and 16. Tyler Kropp takes the pass down to the Steelers 18. Marvin Jones gets the ball down to the 5 on that pass from McCarron, first and goal. McCarron to Rex Burkhead for the touchdown. The Nugent extra point cuts the Steelers lead to 33-20. On that drive McCarron was 10 for 10.
The Steelers recover the onside kick and take over with 1:02 left to play. The Steelers about to win their second in a row, and fourth out of the last five games. The Steelers move to 8-5 on the season, after taking over this game early on. Although every team they needed to lose today, won, the Steelers stepped up with a nice performance. They return home next week to take on the Denver Broncos.