The same old song and dance for the Steelers; they didn’t look any different from last week’s team. The Bengals defensive line got constant pressure on Ben Roethlisberger all game long, and they clearly rattled him. And of course, the Steelers couldn’t run the ball.
Cincinnati wasn’t perfect, but they did enough offensively to put themselves ahead of the Steelers. Pittsburgh had all the problems I anticipated them having. Andy Dalton did not excel in this game, but he didn’t make stupid mistakes. The Bengals had a lot of success with two tight end sets.
And to make matters worse for Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger played just plain ugly. So many of his passes were high and off mark.
Antonio Brown returned a punt 40 yards and set the Steelers up on Cincinnati’s 34 yard line. The Steelers went 3-and-out; then Shaun Suisham kicked a 44 yard field goal to put the Steelers up first.
Ben Roethlisberger completed a pass to David Paulson, good for 34 yards, but Paulson ended up fumbling; the ball was recovered by the Bengals. Cincinnati followed up with a rushing touchdown by Giovani Bernard; the Bengals took the lead 7-3 with less than a minute left in the first quarter.
The Bengals were set up again with good field position late in the first quarter. That drive ended in a Mike Nugent field goal. Cincinnati increased their lead to 10-3 with 13:19 left in the second quarter.
On the Steelers last drive of the first half, Ben Roethlisberger fired up the offense. Ben connected to Emmanuel Sanders on a 3rd and 8. Then Roethlisberger completed another pass to Sanders that was good for 43 yards, setting the Steelers up inside the Bengals’ 5 yard line. And on the following play, Roethlisberger passed the ball to Derek Moye in the back of the endzone on a fly-route, tying the game 10-10 with 1:54 left in the second quarter.
Giovani Bernard took a pass from Andy Dalton 27 yards for a TD on Cincinnati’s second drive of the second half, making the score 17-10 Bengals with 6:08 left in the third quarter.
The Bengals increased their lead to 20-10 with a 25 yard Mike Nugent field goal with 7:54 left in the game.
The Steelers were driving with under 5 minutes left in the game, but they were halted by a high pass that ricocheted off Jerricho Cotchery’s hands and was picked off by Reggie Nelson.
The Bengals secured possession until 1:52 left in the game, and then finally became victorious over their AFC North rivals. This game played out just the way most saw it going down. It was an ugly defensive game. It was an AFC North-style game.
The Steelers have fallen to 0-2, while the Bengals have improved to 1-1. I can’t imagine things getting much better for Pittsburgh. As for the Bengals, they are going to compete, no doubt.