The Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3) outgained the Cincinnati Bengals 3-4), 431 yards to 185, en route to a 24-17 win over the Bengals on Sunday night.
The Steelers went from being down 14-3 mid-way through the second quarter to playing their most dominant football of the season, winning on the road for the first time this season and improved to 12-2 at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals (3-4) fell to 0-6 the last two seasons against Baltimore and Pittsburgh, showing tonight they are not ready for prime time.
The Steelers who looked down and out early in the game, are now just one game behind Baltimore (5-2) in the loss column.
Trailing 14-6, a LaMarr Woodley interception with 1:23 left in the second quarter turned the game around as moments later Roethlisberger would throw a 9 yard touchdown pass to Heath Miller and then the two connected again on the two-point conversion and we had a new ball game. From there it was all Steelers.
In the second half, Pittsburgh dominated on both sides of the ball, especially at the line of scrimmage. A defensive line that was man handled early in the game, was suddenly becoming a factor as the game progressed, getting pressure and their hands on balls on attempted passes and the Steelers O-line had their best performance of the season, despite missing two key regulars in standout center Maurkice Pouncey and right guard Marcus Gilbert.
Pittsburgh rushed for 167 yards, led by Jonathan Dwyer who had a team-high 122 rushing yards on 17 carries. Dwyer hard running style to go with his ability to make splash plays, was too much for the Bengals front seven to handle. Chris Rainey had an 11 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter as the Steelers ran it well all night.
In the win, Ben Roethlisberger was 27 of 37 for 278 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Roethlisberger lost a fumble and was sacked three times.
Shaun Suisham made field goals of 42, 47 and 42 yards.
The big story though was the defense not falling apart when holding a lead and limiting A.J. Green to just 1 catch and 1 touchdown.
Stars offensively tonight for the Steelers, aside from Jonathan Dwyer, was Antonio Brown who had 7 receptions for 96 yards and Heath Miller who hauled in 6 receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown and Miller was an absolute rock in the run blocking department, making a key block on Rainey’s 11 yard run.
Mike Wallace had a team-high 8 catches but was a train wreck with the constant drops.
The Steelers went 10 of 16 on third down.