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Insider Only Steelers 24 – Bengals 17: Defense forces two interceptions in 4th quarter to seal victory

Pittsburgh 24 – Cincinnati 17

A first for this season, a Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback made a break on a ball, making an interception and it was unlikely player to do so as William Gay intercepted Andy Dalton at the Pittsburgh 19 with 2:27 remaining, jumping in front of a pass intended for Jerome Simpson.
The interception was Pittsburgh’s second of the 4th quarter (4th of the season) and only Gay’s second interception of his career. Gay who was victimized last Sunday night vs Baltimore, had gone 50 games without an interception. The Steelers came into the game with 0 interceptions from their cornerbacks through nine games.
Gay’s interception set the Steelers up first and 10 at their 31 yard line with 2:27 remaining. Cincinnati had three timeouts remaining but Pittsburgh ran out the clock as Roethlisberger and the offense moved the chains with first down receptions to Wes Saunders (11 yards) and Mike Wallace (7 yards) to seal the win.
Pittsburgh improved to 7-3 on the season, notching their first division win of the year. It was a win the Steelers absolutely needed after being swept by Baltimore in division play.
Roethlisberger in the victory went 21/33 for 245 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. He did most of his damage in the first half, throwing for 175 yards, as Pittsburgh jumped out to a 14-0 lead on their first two offensive possessions and scored 17 first half points.
Pittsburgh dominated play in the first quarter as Roethlisberger went 8 of 11 for 102 yards, with a 131.6 QB rating in quarter one, highlighted by a 16-yard touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery on the Steelers opening drive.
The Bengals on the afternoon did an excellent job at answering the Steelers and staying in the game. Pittsburgh completely dominating play, leading 14-0 with 3:37 remaining in the first quarter, saw the Bengals respond and go 7 plays for 79 yards that was capped off by an Andy Dalton 36 yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green.
It was a play where the Steelers had good coverage with Polamalu on Green and Clark coming late but Polamalu didn’t make an attempt on the ball and Clark made a bad read on his jump as neither Steeler was able to get a hand on the ball that should have been an easy ball to bat away.
Green was injured on the play and limited for most of the game and didn’t play in the second half.
The Bengals though were back in the game and a few rare miscues from Heath Miller haunted the Steelers offense from breaking the game wide open in the first half.
Following Green’s touchdown, Miller bobbled an easy throw from Roethlisberger and Leon Hall intercepted the ball setting the Bengals up first and 10 at Pittsburgh’s 41. The Bengals would get a field goal, cutting Pittsburgh’s lead to 14-10.
Pittsburgh driving near the end of the half, appeared to go up 20-10 when Roethlisberger connected with Cotchery for a 24-yard touchdown strike but the touchdown was nullified as Heath Miller was called for offensive pass interference due to blocking downfield on a passing play.
The Steelers would have to settle for a field goal on a drive they went 16 plays for a total of 101 yards.
Both teams traded offensive scores in the third quarter and the team’s played to a scoreless 4th quarter that was highlighted by Lawrence Timmons and William Gay intercepting Dalton who made some tough throws throughout the game but made key mistakes in the 4th quarter.
Dalton in the loss went 15 of 30 for 170 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
Running back Rashard Mendenhall ran for 44 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win. Mendenhall put the Steelers up 24-17 late in the third, scoring on a 9-yard TD run, capping off an 11 play-76 yard drive.
Pittsburgh has a bye in week 11, while Cincinnati travels to Baltimore.
Post-Game Stats Watch
*Pittsburgh outgained Cincinnati 328 to 279 and had 24 first downs to the Bengals 14.
*Pittsburgh went 5-12 on third downs….The Bengals went 4-11.
*Cincinnati had 5 sacks in the game. Pittsburgh had 0 sacks and didn’t get much pressure to Dalton.
*Antonio Brown led the Steelers with 5 receptions for 86 yards, averaging 17.2 yards per catch. All five of Brown’s receptions resulted in first downs, including 36 receiving yards on two third down catches. Brown has 44 receptions for 626 yards on the year.
*Ryan Clark led the Steelers with 8 tackles.
*Roethlisberger completed passes to 9 different players.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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